Abu Dhabi International Book Fair returning with hybrid programme

The ADIBF is casting itself as a newly-invigorated gateway to Middle East publishing.
Thursday 29/04/2021
A file picture shows Emirati visitors looking at books during a previous edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in the Emirati capital. AFP
A file picture shows Emirati visitors looking at books during a previous edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in the Emirati capital. (AFP)

ABU DHABI, UAE--The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) will mark its 30th anniversary when it returns next month with a combination of both physical and online events.

Hailed as a catalyst for cultural development in the Arab world and advancing the Arab publishing industry internationally, the fair is being held, with strict COVID-19 precautions, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from May 23-29 , with a hybrid programme that will have events live-streamed around the world.

The ADIBF is casting itself as a newly-invigorated gateway to Middle East publishing. It is backed by the Frankfurt Book Fair (Buchmesse) as well as the  Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) at the emirate’s Department of Culture and Tourism.

Its goal is to connect the Arab and international publishing communities via “global conversations”.

Dr Ali bin Tamim, chairman of the ALC and secretary-general of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, explained: “After a challenging year for the whole publishing community, we are delighted to host the physical book fair next month and pleased with the large numbers of distinguished speakers who will be participating”.

He continued “Abu Dhabi International Book Fair continually works to enhance the Arabic cultural and knowledge sectors, while also providing the public a platform from which to view the latest literary releases from around the world”.

The fair will be staging 80 free sessions across its cultural, professional and educational programmes. With all events being live-streamed, the aim is to reach audiences around the world in a way that has not been possible before.

The line-up is due to feature a wide-ranging list of critically acclaimed authors, cultural figures, pioneers from the region and abroad, distinguished names from the arts and cultural sectors and an array of philosophers, researchers, translators and publishing entrepreneurs.

Speakers  already confirmed include: the respected English historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes; the renowned Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo; the New York Times best-selling writer Mitch Albom; one of the important modern German writers of children’s and young adult literature Paul Maar and the British explorer, writer and documentary producer Levison Wood.

Also taking part in this year’s ADIBF are International Publishers’ Association president Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi and the director and CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse Juergen Boos.

Said Tamim, “We look forward to welcoming our dedicated partners and stakeholders who have made it possible to stage ADIBF this year and we look forward to renewing old alliances in person and meeting new audiences via our virtual programmes”.