Abu Dhabi organizes an international congress of Arabic publishing


The first edition of the Abu Dhabi International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries is on stage on Sunday.

Image – Getty iStockphoto: Boule

By Porter Anderson, Editor | @Porter_Anderson

To see: Our coverage of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2022 and Our special magazine Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Show

Speaker pre-show interviews: Maha Abdullah on localization and Abdulsalam Haykal on the Majarra platform

The evolving dynamics of Arabic publishing

In the first for the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (May 23-29), the Arabic Language Center Abu Dhabi organized the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries on Sunday, May 22 a full day to study the state of Arabic literary production and its engagement with the global publishing community and related disciplines.

As a reminder, you will find the full program for the day in our special Book Fair Show Magazine, on page 25, and your download of the magazine is free (PDF). The congress website is here.

It’s an interesting time in conferences in the Arab world, with Abu Dhabi’s neighboring emirate, Sharjah, having just created its own new conference: Sharjah Book Authority Chairman Ahmed Al Ameri produced the conference Sharjah booksellers earlier this month at the Sharjah Publishing City.

As the many markets of the Arabic-speaking world evolve and expand, new pressure points and opportunities prompt new examinations of the achievements and potentials of their industries.

In fact, these two fairs – the Sharjah Booksellers’ Conference and the Abu Dhabi Arabic Publishing Congress – have in common Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), founding publisher of the Kalimat Group and the Emirates Publishers Association and the daughter of Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the author-sovereign of Sharjah.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, and Dr Ali Bin Tamim, who heads the Arabic Language Center and Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, also spoke at the the opening of the conference.

Exports, crossings and digital presence in Arabic language

Keynote speakers at the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries include, from left to right, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak; Dr. Ali Bin Tamim; Bodour Al-Qasimi; Juergen Boos; and Michael Tamblyn

An audience of no less than 300 is expected, with speakers including Pulitzer Prize-winning Nicholas Carr; Michael Tamblyn, CEO of Rakuten Kobo; Ann Hiatt, a Silicon Valley veteran; and Juergen Boos, CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Among the topics of today’s panelists:

  • Arabic edition: where are we and where are we going?
  • Education and publishing in the virtual world
  • Is social media the new book market?
  • Export Arabic to the world
  • Arab Media Crossover: Adapting Books to Audio, Film and Games
  • Is the reader the new author?
  • What future for Arabic content on the Internet?

We offer preparatory interviews with two key speakers of the day:

  • Maha Abdullah, MENA localization consultant and regional language expert, formerly at Netflix and now at Disney Streaming Services
  • Abdulsalam Haykal, executive chairman of Abu Dhabi-based internet platform Majarra.

For last-minute registration, which is required, email [email protected] And more details are available on the congress website.

Our special magazine Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2022 is here for your free download (PDF).

More information on Publishing Perspectives on the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is here, and more on the United Arab Emirates market is there. To learn more about book fairs and global publishing trade shows, click here. More on translation here, and more on Arabic in publishing here.

Publishing Perspectives is the global media partner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and the International Publishers Association. Our extensive coverage of ADIBF 2022 is supported by the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

More information on Publishing Perspectives on the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident member of Trends Research & Advisory, and was named International Business Journalist of the Year at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. He is editor of Publishing Perspectives. He was previously associate editor of The FutureBook at The Bookseller in London. Anderson was a senior producer and anchor for CNN.com, CNN International and CNN USA for more than a decade. As an art critic (National Critics Institute), he has collaborated with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which is now owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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