With more than 800 exhibitors confirmed at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec), the 20th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) will be the Arab World's leading literature event, according to organisers, Kitab.
Reinforcing Abu Dhabi's aim to become the region's publishing hub, publishers, authors, librarians and literary agents from more than 60 countries will be present at the six-day event, which runs from March 2 to March 7.
Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, said: "For four years, which is the lifespan of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has carried with it many promises and hopes.
"The past few years the fair has witnessed an increase in the number of publishers who attend, and the amount of participants representing Arabic and foreign countries in the programmes of events which accompany the exhibition.
"Today, the fair has reached its 20th session. Once again this illustrates how the fair's magnificent new achievements are continually surpassing those of previous years.
He said: "From 2007 up to the current session, the number of publishing houses participating has increased. Today it has reached a total of more than 800 publishing houses. The number of participating countries has increased by nearly 400 per cent and comprises more than 60 countries, both Arab and foreign. Holding the annual fair in Abu Dhabi promotes the ever-increasing reputation of this city as a centre of culture and science that is keen to deepen thinking and support cultural events in all their forms."
Jumaa Al Qubaisi, Director of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and the National Library (ADACH), added: "ADIBF is unlike any other fair. It is the true gateway for publishing sector's emerging markets in the Arab World to showcase their talent and work to an international audience and for the international industry to see what our region has to offer.
"Beyond this, it is a platform to reach out to the 300 million potential readers of the Arab World and show them the value of reading."
The ADIBF professional programme is themed around 'Focus on Rights' and will offer a range of seminars, workshops and networking events for visiting publishing professionals, including 'How to do business in the Gulf Region', 'Matchmaking for agents, scouts and Arab publishers' and 'Arabs and the freedom of publishing'.
For the second year running the 'Spotlight on Rights' initiative will offer a subsidy to rights deals signed at the fair in the newly expanded Business and Rights Centre.
The new Rights Showcase for Arabic Literature will enable Arab publishers to showcase their best work, while the new 'eZone' will highlight the opportunities of the digital world.
ADACH and Kitab will also co-host the 7th IPA Copyright Symposium Abu Dhabi 2010 immediately prior to the ADIBF on February 28, giving delegates an extra opportunity to network and discuss the industry's best practice in the international arena.
ADIBF will also bring together some of the world's most iconic literary talents.
Highlights will include the International Prize for Arabic Fiction and the Sheikh Zayed Book Awards.
Nominees of both awards will participate in the fair alongside a world-class line up of authors, including Ahlam Mostenghami, Yann Martell, Azar Nafizi, Bapsi Sidhwa and Amit Chaudhuri.
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