Book fair in Sharjah, hit month before its start

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Thousands of publishers have lined up for the 2020 edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair with the entire exhibitor space sold out months before the event, organisers have announced.

The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) on Tuesday said the entire 14,625sqm exhibitor space at the Sharjah Expo Centre has been sold out, with thousands of purchases from across the world for the event scheduled for November.

For industry professionals worldwide, the SIBF is a key opportunity to tap into both the commercial and customer potential of the Middle East and Asia regions. The SBA opened registration this February, which testifies both the cultural and market appeal of the 11-day event.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the SBA, said: “For the past 38 years, we have been promoting knowledge and culture by hosting the Sharjah International Book Fair in line with the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. Today, the SIBF is a major event on the global publishing industry calendar. Each year, it is a focal point for publishers, writers and thinkers from around 80 countries worldwide who deem it imperative to participate, explore new opportunities and showcase their products and services to millions of visitors.

“It is heartening to receive such strong industry support even in these challenging times, which drives us to host an exceptional edition this year to continue benefitting both the reader as well as local, regional and global publishing markets. We are committed to employing the highest international health and safety standards on the exhibition site, and will have detailed preventative protocols in place to ensure the safety of participants and visitors during the book fair,” he added.

Al Ameri added that this year’s fair will shine a strong spotlight on ways publishers can collaborate to successfully navigate the challenges posed to their businesses, complete projects stalled due to Covid-19, and continue operating profitably in the fast-changing market landscape.

Alongside publishers, several government and semi-government entities, rights agents and other industry professionals, educational and cultural institutions, public libraries, research centres, education service providers, university libraries, as well as local and international media will make an appearance at SIBF 2020. The fair will have spaces dedicated for literary discussions, workshops, creative and artistic events, in addition to areas designated for managerial, administrative, and technical personnel who will communicate with publishers and facilitate their participation.