Home News 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair concludes seven days of memorable activities

31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair concludes seven days of memorable activities

by Dubai Forum
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ABU DHABI, 31st May, 2022 (WAM) — Held under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) concluded its 31st edition, having welcomed thousands of visitors over its seven-day run from 23rd – 29th May, 2022, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the annual fair saw a notable increase in sales of books and publications in various fields of knowledge and culture, as publishing houses participating in the event gave positive feedback of their experience and the large volume of sales completed. The event welcomed thousands of students from schools across the country, who brought great energy and enthusiasm to the various sections of the Fair.

This year’s edition of the fair boasted a busy agenda of events that stood out for their groundbreaking and serious content, including a professional programme for publishers and workshops to hone creative writing skills. A significant increase was noted in the number of publishers participating in the event, with 1,130 publishers from over 80 countries offering a large selection of literature appealing to diverse audiences. More than 650 cultural, artistic and educational events took place across the week, featuring such distinguished international guests as Nobel laureates and winners of the Booker and Pulitzer Prizes, alongside renowned Arab intellectual and creative minds.

ADIBF 2022 chose the influential Egyptian writer and intellectual Taha Hussein – known as the ‘Dean of Arabic Literature’ – as its ‘Personality of the Year’, highlighting the renowned author and critic’s life and work during the seven-day event, and introducing his work to a new generation.

The Federal Republic of Germany was hosted as the Guest of Honour, with renowned German publishers taking part and a special calendar of activations rolled out throughout the week. The activities highlighted German literary heritage and celebrated the longstanding tradition of cultural exchange between that country and the UAE. It also highlighted the UAE’s efforts in the publishing industry and the conferences sector, further promoting ADIBF on the world stage.

In this year’s edition of the Fair, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre also sought to introduce the local community, as well as tourists and visitors to ADIBF, to the most renowned creations of world culture, the beauty of literature and arts from around the world, which reflected the cultures and traits of the various peoples that produced them.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award also celebrated the winners of its 16th edition in a special ceremony at Louvre Abu Dhabi, where renowned thinker Dr. Abdullah Al Ghathami was honoured, in recognition of his illustrious and pioneering career, where he completed landmark studies and research projects that contributed greatly to the cultural movement in the region and the Arab world. Dr. Al Ghathami was awarded the title of ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’, along with a gold medal bearing the SZBA emblem, a certificate of merit, and a AED1 million prize. Winners in other categories of the Award received a gold medal, a certificate of merit, and a prize of AED750,000.

Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of ALC, said, “The Fair embodies the vision of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi to support publishers and pave the way for them to make their competitive return to the market. ADIBF 2022 signalled a new beginning where life returns to the world of culture, shedding light on the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and its authenticity, identity, and grand cultural aspirations.

“This year witnessed many cultural and literary firsts in the history of the exhibition, and we wanted to present events with meaningful content to offer visitors a positive, well organised book fair experience, steering attention towards the books sector out of our commitment to following in the footsteps of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who believed in the importance of the book and its role in the progress and development of societies,” Bin Tamim added.

The 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair presented a wide range of diverse events to participants, including the inaugural International Congress of Arab Publishing and Creative Industries, which hosted 300 speakers, publishers and specialists from around the world. It also included the launch of the first edition of the ‘Kanz Al Jeel’ Award, which aims to honour Nabati poetry, as well as heritage studies and research. With a name inspired by one of the poems written by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Award is granted to scholars and creators who submit works that explore Nabati poetry and its values; it seeks to enhance poetry’s standing in society as a mirror of the community.

The 19th edition of the Gulf Book Fair Managers Meeting was also held on the sidelines of the event, resulting in a set of new recommendations to improve book fairs across the region and better support the Arab publishing industry.

Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Acting Executive Director of the ALC and Director of ADIBF, said, “The success of this year’s edition reflects the position that the Abu Dhabi Book Fair has come to occupy. The event has grown more professional and more international than ever before, and with the extensive and diversified agenda of events we set for it, we were committed to supporting culture in all its forms, as well as to invite all segments of the community, with their varying literary tastes and intellectual interests, to join the Book Fair.”

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