By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Bin Tamim: ‘To Reach Greater Numbers of Readers’As Publishing Perspectives readers know will remember from our coverage in May from the United Arab Emirates, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center (ALC) is the producing umbrella agency—under the emirate’s culture and tourism department—for the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and many other events.
In a new announcement, the ALC has announced that participants in all book fairs in the emirate of Abu Dhabi are exempt from paying exhibition and participation fees in 2023—good news for booksellers, publishers, and other exhibitors.
This is, in fact, the third year that this decision has been made, a way in which the emirate’s government is showing its strong support for both the reading culture it nurtures and the publishing players who depend on these fairs for sizable parts of their revenue.
In addition to the recently closed 2023 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, for example, this subsidy includes the Al Ain Book Festival 2023 and Al Dhafra Book Festival 2023.
The objective, as media messaging has it, is “to offer a strong incentive to attract more publishers and creators to participate in these exhibitions, which serves to enrich the local and regional cultural scene; supply Arab libraries with a wide collection of international publications; and position Abu Dhabi as a global cultural capital, a thriving center for commerce and a hub for cross-cultural dialogue.”
In a prepared statement, the chair of the Arabic Language Center, Dr. Ali Bin Tamim—who also is secretary-general of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award—is quoted, saying, “The fees exemption granted to publishing houses, exhibitors, and publishers participating in Abu Dhabi’s book fairs and festivals–now for the third consecutive year–is a catalyst for growth and advancement in the publishing and creative industries locally, regionally, and globally.
“This feeds into wider goals of the ALC, namely to reach greater numbers of readers and to promote and elevate Arabic language content across all forms of publishing.
“This decision reflects the vision of our wise leadership and the great value they place on knowledge and culture as essential elements of a thriving society.”
The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this year was the show’s 32nd iteration, closing on May 28.
One of the highest-visibility programs of the Arabic Language Center in Abu Dhabi, of course, is the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which in its 18th iteration has just added a 10th category to its prize roster and has opened for submissions.
You’ll find more about that here.
More from Publishing Perspectives on the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center 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.