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17 April 2024

First Dubai International Publishing Conference launched

By Staff

The Emirates Literature Foundation, in partnership with the General Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai, will host the Dubai International Publishing Conference from 5-6 March 2017.

The event celebrates the ideals of the National Reading Policy, launched in the United Arab Emirates in 2016, and is another step towards promoting the creative content of Arab writers and enhancing the publishing industry to promote reading culture, in an effort to create a new generation of literate and open-minded readers both culturally and intellectually within an inclusive and cohesive society.

The programme will feature renowned speakers from the UAE, the region and across the world who will give their inspiring vision of publishing today and into the future and will discuss the status quo of the publishing industry, the possible opportunities of development and building partnerships with international publishing houses.

Through lively debate and sessions, delegates will have the opportunity to hear from world-class experts from all sectors of the industry. In discussion will be many aspects of the publishing field, including:

•  Starting up a business

•  Managing runaway bestsellers

•  Exploiting international rights and exploring new markets

•  Publishing strategies

•  Publishing for the visually impaired

The Conference will run alongside the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, giving delegates the chance to experience the UAE’s premier literature festival's activities which comes in line with the objectives and themes of the conference.

On the importance of the conference, Aisha Abdullah Miran, Assistant Secretary General for Strategy Management and Governance Sector at the Dubai Executive Council, says, ‘Enhancing and instilling the culture of reading in the community is among the priorities of wise leadership; it is a key brick in the development of nations through educated and cultured generations; and this is what the National Reading Law issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may Allah protect him) endeavours to achieve; this Law is the first of its kind for setting executive programmes and definite government responsibilities to sustainably promote the value of reading in the UAE.’

Miran added: ‘The partnership with Emirates Literature Foundation, which has been active for years in augmenting the cultural process in the community, is part of the institutional responsibility shouldered by the General Secretariat of The Executive Council to meet the directives of the prudent leadership on the need to perpetuate the culture of reading among individuals. The Dubai International Publishing Conference comes as an initiative to enhance the supporting environment of the culture of reading through promoting the publishing sector as the main channel to take the book to the audience of readers. We look forward to the success of this Conference in coming out with recommendations that will be employed in identifying applicable strategic programmes and initiatives that may be implemented in Dubai to support and promote the culture of reading among the different segments of the community in the various languages and cultures.’

In the same context, Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, praised the partnership between Emirates Literature Foundation and the General Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai as a key driver of a number of cultural and literary initiatives, she said: ‘We, in partnership with the General Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai, established a pivotal and inspiring event that hosts sessions aimed at tacking publishing industry–related key issues in our region.’

She added: ‘Publishers need to learn about the real situation of the region and its requirements, know about reading inclinations of their citizens and the causes that may preclude their desire for reading; due to this, encouraging the culture of reading and perpetuating love for books in citizens is associated with the publishers’ ability to provide exciting, useful and handy books that are accessible to all segments of community.’

‘We want to enhance communication between the Arab and Western publishers,’ said Abulhoul. ‘The Conference will encourage an exchange of ideas, enabling cross-publishing of popular works, especially Arabic into English, giving the talent in the region a wider audience outside the Arab world.’

Noted speakers participating at the Conference include Jeffrey Archer, internationally-acclaimed bestselling author, Jamal Al Shehhi, Emirati author and founder of Kuttub publishing house, Richard Charkin, President of the International Publishers Association and Executive Director of Bloomsbury Publishing, Amal Farah, Egyptian children's author, Editor in Chief of the Mickey Mouse Magazine and owner of Al Shagara publications, Vineeta Gupta, Head of Children’s Dictionaries, Oxford University Press, Louisa Livingston, Group Insight and Innovation Director for Hachette, Shadi Al Hasan, founder of Rufoof Online, ‘the first Arabic eBook platform on mobile’, Pan Macmillan publisher Carole Tonkinson and Iman Ben Chaibah local entrepreneur and founder of Sail Magazine, an Emirati publishing house for digital books and magazines. Representatives from the National Media Council will also take part.

In addition to the main speaker and panel sessions there are masterclasses on key skills, and a special ‘matchmaking’ translation event to highlight a selection of exceptional titles in Arabic and English.

The Conference will also give the global publishing industry new insight into the exciting developments taking place in the Arabic publishing world, and help place it on the industry world map.

The General Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai is the Emirate’s representative on the Supreme Committee for Reading in the United Arab Emirates and the authority supervising the coordination of all activities and initiatives which will be held in Dubai to enhance reading, develop the human capital, contribute to the cognitive capacity building, support the national intellectual production and build of knowledge based societies in UAE.

The General Secretariat of The Executive Council supervises and coordinates all Dubai based activities and initiatives that support the goals of the National Reading Policy, which was announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The General Secretariat of The Executive Council is partnering with Emirates Literature Foundation in this first of a kind conference in the region in an effort to support the Dubai Plan 2021 objective of having happy, creative and educated individuals who are proud of themselves and their country. It has developed a framework for the Emirate’s national reading strategy, in coordination with other government entities.

The strategy focuses on enhancing the supply and demand for reading, in line with the National Reading Policy.

The General Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai also plans to implement a number of initiatives and projects over the next two years, in collaboration with strategic partners, to achieve the aims of the National Reading Policy.

These initiatives and projects will aim to promote creative content in Arabic, encourage creative young Arab writers, support publishing and printing, and rethink the role of the librarian, due to its importance to the cultural and educational process.

It is important to note that reading has an important contribution to achieving the goals of Dubai Plan 2021, which focuses on the development and growth of the individual and society. Reading has direct linkages to both the “A City of Happy, Creative, and Empowered People” and “An Inclusive & Cohesive Society” themes.

All sessions will take place at the InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City, from 5-6 March, 2017.