Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
After establishing itself as the world's largest book fair this year and receiving 1,692,463 visitors representing 109 nationalities, curtains fell on the 40th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), which ran its course from November 3-13 under the theme 'There's always a right book.'
The cultural extravaganza brought together 1,632 publishers from 83 countries.
This milestone edition, where Spain was Guest of Honour, surpassed every international book fair held this year to become the world’s largest by attracting the largest number of publishers and literary agents looking to network, match-make and do business with each other.
Females account for 51.9 per cent of SIBF visitors
Statistics released by SBA reveals that Females account for 51.9 per cent of SIBF visitors, and males accounted for 48.1 per cent of SIBF visitors.
As for age groups, 1.3 per cent of visitors at SIBF 2021 were under 15 years; 52.2 per cent between 16 and 30, those between 31-45 accounted for 35.5 per cent, while 11.1 per cent were 46 years and older. 90.2 per cent of visitors registered on-ground to attend the fair, while 9.8 per cent registered via SBA’s digital platforms.
Multiple visits to SIBF 2021 by 20,000 visitors
An interesting finding made by the book fair this year was that around 20,000 amongst the 1.6 million visitors to SIBF 2021 walked into the 11-day fair more than once; and thousands have visited the fair 3 to 7 times.
Some even made multiple visits in one day – a clear sign that SIBF is a major cultural attraction.
The vibrant and diverse programming agenda of SIBF 2021 included more than 1,000 activities, including 440 cultural sessions, 355 shows, performances, seminars and workshops for children, and more than 80 awe-inspiring theatrical and dance performances from Europe, Asia, and Africa.
For the first time in the history of SIBF, aspiring illustrators, designers and art directors had an opportunity to benefit from a series of free workshops and panel sessions as part of a dedicated Illustration Survival Corner, organised in collaboration with Bologna Children's Book Fair.
SIBF 2021 brought together 85 writers from 22 countries
SIBF 2021 hosted 85 authors and intellectuals from 22 countries who led the fair's events and activities.
Taleb Al Refai was Cultural Personality of the Year at this edition of the book fair, which also hosted distinguished guests, including Tanzanian novelist and the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021, Abdulrazak Gurnah; South African comedian and celebrity TV host Trevor Noah; Chris Gardner; writer Yasmina Khadra; Amitav Ghosh; Chetan Bhagat; and the young inventor Gitanjali Rao from America.
Khoula Al Mujaini, Director of Fair and Festivals, SBA, said that SIBF 2021 has achieved the distinguished honour of becoming the largest international book fair in the world. She stated that each year, the event provides new opportunities for publishers across the world to grow and prosper.
A new addition to the SIBF 2021 agenda was a two-day National Libraries Summit, organised at the SBA headquarters in Sharjah from November 8–9, under the theme ‘Visibility, Engagement, Impact, and Collaboration.’
The summit attracted more than 50 participants and 20 national libraries from across 20 countries and served as a platform to engage in several discussions and four networking meetings. The summit was held in collaboration with the American Library Association.
35 speakers, 546 publishers and literary agents participate in the SIBF Publishers Conference
546 professionals and stakeholders across the publishing community including agents, authors, and 35 speakers, participated in the 11th SIBF Publishers Conference, organised in collaboration with the International Publishers Association.
8th Sharjah International Library Conference attracts participation of 500 library professionals
The 8th edition of the Sharjah International Library Conference (SILC), held in collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA) on November 10-11, convened 500 librarians and sector professionals from across the globe, and focused on technologies and trends shaping the sector's future and facilitated collaborations and networking between guests to elevate the services delivered to their respective communities.
The sponsors and partners of SIBF included Etisalat (official sponsor) Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (official media partner); Abu Dhabi Media (media partner); Expo Center Sharjah (strategic partner); Dar Al Khaleej (press partner); and Al Arabiya TV (media sponsor).
The hybrid offline – online model of SIBF 2020 themed ‘The World Reads from Sharjah’ and organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), offered 1,024 publishers from 73 nations a much-needed opportunity to showcase millions of titles including 80,000 new releases to a physical audience of 382,000 people who visited the book fair.
A word enters a person’s heart like a bullet. It might be small but each one is very impactful, says Kuwaiti author Mishel Hamad.
The exemption of rental fees for the publishing houses is valued at Dhs6 million.
While over two million visitors graced the fair, the last eleven days saw the power of the written word rise to glorious heights. Specifically, in the very year that Sharjah is the Book Capital of the World.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif conveyed the profound sympathies and condolences of the leadership, government and people of Pakistan to the leadership of UAE.
Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to privatise the loss-making national airline as part of reforms aimed at solving the country worst economic crisis in decades. Wickremesinghe said the airline lost about $123m in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
According to CCTV footage shared by the city’s police force captures the shocking incident, which took place in the early hours of Wednesday last week (11 May).