The doors of the third largest book fair in world will open to the public on November 1, with more than 1.5 million books on display in Sharjah, the third largest city in the United Arabs Emirates.
The 36th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair, whose theme is “A World Inside My Book”, is expected to attract 1,650 exhibitors from 60 countries.
Organisers describe the event as an “11-day celebration of literature, knowledge and culture”.
South Korea, Bangladesh and Denmark will be among the countries making their debut appearance.
For the first time, the fair will also have a country of honour; the United Kingdom.
It was chosen as part of the growing ties between the two countries.
“I’m delighted the UK will be the inaugural guest of honour,” British representative to the UAE Hannah Henderson said.
Ahmed Al Ameri, chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, which organises the annual event that rivals the Frankfurt and London fairs said: “SIBF has turned into an all-inclusive cultural project.
“It serves as a beacon of knowledge that brings together publishers, authors, book enthusiasts and internationally-acclaimed guests in a shared passion for literature and culture.”
At least 393 guests from 48 countries are expected to take part in more than 2,600 events during the fair.
For the first time, the fair will have a special pavilion to be known as ‘The Future Zone’, where 10 leading companies that specialise in digital books will showcase their experiences and latest publications.
Among the Arab authors expected at the fair are Omani poet Saif Al Rahbi, Taleb Al Rifai from Kuwait, Egyptian novelist Ahmed Murad, Kuwaiti novelist Saud Al Sanousi, Mohammed Hassan Alwan from Saudi Arabia, Egyptian critic Thuraya Al Osaili and Libyan writer Najwa Bin Shatwan.