Sharjah [UAE], April 20 (ANI/WAM): The Emirate of Sharjah has concluded participation in the 50th edition of the London International Book Fair (LBF), forging new connections and partnerships with the European publishing sector.
Overseen by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), the pavilion functioned as a gateway for the European publishing sector, cultural and intellectual institutions, to the Arab and Emirati cultural scene. Sharjah aims to advance collaboration with European publishers in the knowledge economy through its participation.
The emirate’s pavilion attracted significant attention from major British and European cultural and diplomatic institutions, demonstrating the emirate’s growing presence on the global cultural map. Sharjah’s recognition as the “Market Focus” of the 49th edition of the LBF underscored its commitment to expanding the publishing market, supporting authors and creatives in the Middle East and North Africa region, and connecting them with Western and Asian counterparts through the Sharjah International Book Fair, the largest book fair in terms of copyright sales.
During its participation, the Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone, a subsidiary of the SBA, signed agreements with several British and European publishers to establish their companies’ branches within the Sharjah Publishing City (SPC). This move will support publishers in tapping into the Middle East and Asian markets and leverage the services and facilities offered by the city to connect with global publishing markets.
The SPC’s delegation met with more than 35 publishing houses, including MM Educational Group, Harpers, Histria Books, Y Ventures, BPB Publications, Om Books, Litera, Haus Publishing, and Crossword Bookstores. The new companies joining the city and the signing of the contracts will be announced at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival.
During the three-day event, the SBA highlighted partnership opportunities to advance collaboration with European institutions. The Sharjah pavilion introduced visitors to the outstanding work of Emirati and Arab creators, writers, and researchers through curated English publications from Al Qasimi Publications and the Sharjah Department of Culture.
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, met with several officials of major publishing institutions to explore cooperation areas to advance the book industry. The chairman met with John Ingram, Chairman of Ingram Content Group; Markus Dohle, former CEO of Penguin Random House; Perminder Mann, CEO of Bonnier Books UK; and Ian Chapman, Chief Executive and Publisher, of Simon & Schuster UK and International, among others.
During the meetings, Al Ameri discussed the opportunities provided by the Authority through the Sharjah International Book Fair, the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, and accompanying significant events such as the Publishers Conference and Booksellers Conference, and the Sharjah Animation Conference – the first-of-its-kind event organised by the Authority this year – the Sharjah Award for Translation (Turjuman), the Translation Grant, and other international efforts.
Al Ameri said, “On every occasion where the emirate has participated in international forums and exhibitions, it has duly affirmed the success and potency of its cultural project, which translates the vision of H.H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, who believes in and champions the impact of knowledge and books in forging solid relations between nations and societies.”
He asserted that the knowledge industry is not merely a means for building communities and bolstering their standing between world cultures. It is also the most sustainable and impactful industry for creating a bright future for humanity.
Under the emirate’s umbrella at the LBF, the Sharjah Department of Culture, Sharjah Publishing City, the Sharjah International Book Fair Translation Grant, Kalimat Group, the Arab Children’s Book Publisher Forum, and Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s’ Literature showcased their offerings and experiences that translate Sharjah’s vision and cultural project. (ANI/WAM)