The 26th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) concluded on Tuesday evening in the UAE capital, closing the curtain to a unique edition by all standards. The fair, organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), was held from April 27 until May 3, 2016, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
This year witnessed a celebration of Italy as the Guest of Honour, and Ibn Rushd as the personality of the year. While TCA Abu Dhabi has announced the selection of China as the Guest of Honor next year at the 27th edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
Abdullah Majid Al Ali, Director of Library Management at TCA Abu Dhabi, stressed that this edition was remarkable and distinctive at all levels, noting that it was attended by 1,261 publishers from 63 countries, who presented the best literary, intellectual, cultural, scientific, and economic publications, as well as various science and educational books.
The exhibition attracted more than 272,320 visitors of all ages, who are keen readers of poetry, literature, and culture. The fair was characterised by unique activities and events related to different cultures and civilizations.
Al Ali added that the book fair is a pioneering intellectual and cultural event that aims to introduce new books, publications, and translated versions. It also allows readers to meet with authors, publishers, and other stakeholders in the knowledge industry.
The fair was marked by unprecedented intellectual and cultural momentum and included more than 507 cultural events that attracted 612 pioneers of thought, literature, poetry, culture, and publishing. They participated in the professional programme including seminars dedicated to publishers, book agents, distributors, booksellers, translators, and the public.
A well-rounded set of programmes were on offer at designated sections throughout the fair, complete with the Ibn Rushd forum that hosted talks highlighting the importance of reading. The sections included the Culture Programme, the Illustrator Corner, Professional Corner, Creativity Corner, Show Kitchen and the Black Box Cinema; all of which hosted a series of interactive activities, discussion panels and events inspired by a culture of reading and creativity.
The number of book titles participated at the fair reached 500,000 in 30 languages from around the world, with book sales during the fair reaching AED25 million.
The exhibition, which included the signing of over 100 books and poetry collections, received significant media attention, both regionally and globally. More than 200 journalists from local, Arab, and international media outlets participated in the coverage of the activities of the exhibition’s 26th edition.
Abu Dhabi International Book Fair also witnessed the signing of 230 agreements supporting publishing rights across the fair’s 31,962 square metres space. The edition also shed light on TCA Abu Dhabi’s achievements in promoting culture at regional and global levels. Attention to various aspects of the book industry is one of the main features Abu Dhabi emirate has put in a place as a strategy in support of cultural preservation.
A large number of publishers who participated at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this year asserted that Abu Dhabi is witnessing a development and cultural boom that has attracted the attention of the whole world. It has initiated unique global cultural projects that have seen continuous and rapid success, which has allowed Abu Dhabi to hold a distinctive position in the field of cultural development in the world.
According to publishers, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is part of this unique strategy, and it has continued its impressive progress in an unprecedented manner, becoming the most important literal exhibition in the Middle East. It was also rated by the International Publishers Association (IPA) as one of the most important exhibitions in the world.
Publishers praised the high level of organisation and layout of the exhibition, as well as the spacious area allocated for the exhibition, which allowed publishing houses to showcase their products in a large area. Publishers expressed hope that other exhibitions would follow suit in terms of organisation, arrangement, layout, and variety of activities and events.