There has been unprecedented demand for publishers space for the 4th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair, SIBF, which takes place from November 4th -14th at the Expo Centre.
The internationally renowned book fair is setting new benchmarks in terms of publishers' space after it received a gigantic demand from publishing houses, government agencies and cultural institutions from all over the world, exceeding the available publishers' area by more than a third.
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, the governing body that oversees the event, said, "The vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, gave SIBF a rich portfolio of successes and its growing regional and international popularity over more than three decades which led to an overwhelming increase in the number of applications for book publishers' space. This amounted to 22,000 square metres, 37% more than the available publishers' area of 16,000 square metres. We are delighted with the event’s growing popularity, which is evidence of its increasing significance on the publishing circuit."
Al Ameri added that there has been competition between local, Arab and international publishers as well as government agencies and cultural bodies, to reserve extra space to showcase more publications, allowing visitors to spend more time at their stands and to utilise the space by hosting fun and educational activities and events.
"All of the fair’s organising teams have completed their preparations for the launch of the SIBF 2015 which runs for 11 days. We will have many events designed to meet the needs of lovers of the written word. The books to be showcased by publishing houses will start arriving in Sharjah at the beginning of October, to make sure they’re available to SIBF's visitors from the very first day of the fair."
He said that that there will be many new and entertaining activities, programmes and events at this year’s SIBF and participation by dozens of writers, intellectuals, media figures and celebrities from all over the world. There are prominent figures from the Philippines, Japan and South Africa, which will introduce visitors to various cultures and allow the diverse communities in the UAE to connect with celebrated literary and media figures from their home countries.
"I can promise visitors a larger-than-life SIBF cultural extravaganza, whose impact should linger and remain for many years to come. There will be hundreds of thousands of titles in different languages on display to enrich and expand visitors’ knowledge as they enjoy and explore the world of books. We welcome Arab and international media to visit Sharjah in order to familiarise themselves with the largest and most popular and successful book fair in the region," he added.
The Sharjah International Book Fair was first launched in 1982 under the patronage the Ruler of Sharjah to manifest his vision to make the Emirate of Sharjah a beacon of culture and literature at both the Arab and global levels. SIBF aims to encourage everyone to read and fosters a love of books so that reading becomes a daily habit, by offering access to books in various disciplines of knowledge.
In April 2015, SIBF won the Market Focus Achievement Award as part of the London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards, in recognition of the role it played in promoting culture and publishing and market focus. The award also comes in appreciation of SIBF's efforts in cementing cooperation in various cultural fields, extending bridges of communication and encouraging intercultural dialogue as a means to establish peace, stability and tolerance in the world.