ABU DHABI // More than 300,000 people visited the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this year for its 27th edition.
The week-long event ended on Tuesday. Books worth more than Dh35 million were sold, and 1,320 exhibitors from 65 countries attended, organisers said.
It was organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. “The success of the fair is driven by the unprecedented levels of intellectual and cultural momentum that highlight the prestigious position Abu Dhabi holds as a leading international hub for literature,” said Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of TCA Abu Dhabi.
China was the fair’s guest of honour this year, which highlighted the country’s close ties with the UAE, Mr Al Mubarak said. China organised 300 events during the fair.
“This is a precursor to new levels of cooperation between the two countries,” he said.
A deal to set up the first Emirati-Chinese publishing house was signed by former Arabic professor Dr Fatima Al Mazrouei, on behalf of the UAE, and China’s InterContinental Publishing, said Saif Ghobash, director general of TCA Abu Dhabi.
“Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has become an iconic event,” Mr Ghobash said. “It is a key element in the cultural agenda that is helping transform Abu Dhabi into one of the leading capitals of culture and literature.”
More than 900 workshops, seminars and panel discussions were held and books in more than 30 languages were on display. The fair also catered to youth – holding workshops for children and working with Abu Dhabi Education Council to host more than 50,000 pupils.
A programme celebrating Polish authors was also held, with Poland being the guest of honour at next year’s event.