Abu Dhabi’s ‘Spotlight on Rights’ Grants Program Opens

In News by Porter Anderson

Since 2009, Abu Dhabi’s ‘Spotlight on Rights’ has supported more than 1,030 books with at least 140 publishers.

One of several fantasy-focused stands at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this year. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Submission Deadline: June 10
The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, has today (May 23) opened registration for its ‘Spotlight on Rights’ grants program at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, taking place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center through Sunday (May 28).

‘Spotlight on Rights’ provides grants to publishers participating in the fair and interested in buying translation copyrights or obtain the rights to convert books into audiobooks or ebooks.

This program supports the center’s wider efforts to translate content from and into Arabic, and to convert printed books into digital ebooks and audiobooks.

The initiative also is intended to encourage greater cooperation between Arab and international publishers and provide the world’s best literary content to Arab readers in the region—the so-called “two-way street” in which international literature is being both bought and sold by a given market’s book business.

Launched in 2009, ‘Spotlight on Rights’ has supported more than 1,030 books with at least 140 publishers to date.

This includes work in children’s books, science, history, and social sciences.

This, organizers say, has helped to diversify the Arabic library with books translated from multiple international languages.

In 2022, the book fair’s program received applications from 122 publishing houses in 12 countries, with a total 135 grants approved.

Al Tunaiji: ‘Enriching Arabic Content’

Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji

Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, executive director of the center and director of the book fair, is quoted in today’s announcement, saying, “‘Spotlight on Rights’ is an important Abu Dhabi International Book Fair initiative which not only contributes to the development of the regional publishing industry, but promotes respect for intellectual property rights in the Arab world.

“The United Arab Emirates is a pioneer in enacting and implementing legislation that protects these rights.

“The program has played a key role in encouraging the translation movement and enriching Arabic content in all its forms, keeping pace with the rapid technical development of the publishing industry worldwide.”

Publishers taking part in the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair can register and submit applications for the Spotlight on Rights program by June 10.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center is here, more on rights is here, more on Arabic literature is here, and more on translation is here. More from us on the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is here.

Publishing Perspectives is the world media partner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award. Our extended coverage of ADIBF 2022 is supported by the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.