DUBAI, 27th October, 2023 (WAM) — In partnership with and hosted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) organised the second edition of the Digital Publishing Forum to highlight the latest trends and address the challenges facing the digital publishing sector. Through this forum, Dubai Culture sought to encourage publishers, experts, and specialists to present innovative solutions and recommendations to help support the development of this vital sector in the UAE.
The forum featured interactive sessions and workshops, witnessing the participation of experts, academics, publishers, specialists, intellectuals, and writers. Sessions included ‘Future of Digital Publishing in the UAE,’ led by Mohammed Al-Zarooni, Deputy Director-General of the Information and Digital Government Sector; Dr Abdulrahman Al Muaini, Assistant Undersecretary for the Intellectual Property Sector at the Ministry of Economy; and Dr Afra Atiq, an Emirati poet. Moderated by Mohammad bin Thani Al Falasi, the ‘Safe Publishing on Digital Platforms’ workshop, which Dubai Electronic Security Center organised, addressed the security of content on digital platforms publishers may be exposed to.
The forum also hosted the ‘Brainstorming Laboratory,’ which featured Emirati publishing houses who shared their future vision and recommendations for digital publishing; the session was moderated by Lama Jasim Bourisly, Consultant in the Advisors Office at Dubai Culture. The ‘Publishing in the Age of Digitalisation (Artificial Intelligence, Opportunities, Challenges),’ moderated by Iman Al-Youssef, was attended by Sherif Bakr, Director of Al Arabi Publishing House; and Shadi Al-Hassan, Executive Director of Rofouf Company. The session highlighted the role and impact of artificial intelligence on digital publishing and the opportunities and challenges associated with it. On the other hand, ‘The Digital Publishing Market (Evolution and Future)’ session saw the participation of Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director of the Emirates Publishers Association, Author Amira Abu Kadra, Co-founder Partner at GHAF Library and Publications, and Author Alyazia Khalifa Alsuwaidi, Director and Founder of Al Falak for Translation and Publishing.
Additionally, the ‘Digital Publishing Technologies: Between Impact and Influence’ session featured Ahmed Al-Yassi from the Emirates Intellectual Property Association, and Mustafa Youssef from the Higher Colleges of Technology; they addressed copyrights in the age of artificial intelligence and the role of digital publishing in strengthening the green economy.
The forum also hosted a virtual session, entitled ‘The Role of Digital Publishing in Sustainability’, led by Dr. Emad Abu Eid, who emphasised the impact of digital publishing on sustainability and its contribution to reducing the carbon footprint and achieving carbon neutrality in a way that supports national strategies in this field.
Mohammed Al Hebsi, Acting Director of Dubai Culture’s Literature Department, highlighted that the Digital Publishing Forum reflects Dubai Culture’s efforts to enhance the cultural movement locally and enrich the creative scene in Dubai: “Through the forum, we seek to create an innovative platform that brings together publishers, experts, and specialists in this field and fosters constructive dialogue. It also introduces them to digital publishing and adopting digitalisation to disseminate knowledge and literature in new mediums that meet the aspirations of readers. Dubai Culture is keen on supporting those who work in this industry through various initiatives that enable them to introduce their literary and intellectual outputs and share them with different segments of society.”
Through Rofouf, Noon, and Zodiac Media, the Digital Publishing Forum offered a creative and interactive space for authors and the public to learn about ways to publish their work via audio and digital book applications, in addition to listing, promoting, and showcasing them.