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More Than Half Million Visitors In 10 Days $50 Million Dollars Book Sales In SIBF 30th Session

Curtain falls today on the activities of the 30th session of the Sharjah International Book Fair 2011, which was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, on November 16.

Ninety publishers representing 50 countries from around the world participated in this year’s exhibition which was held in the "Sharjah Expo Centre" and continued for 10 days. This year’s session came distinctive in its great variety of events and participants which mostly aimed to grant the exhibition visitors a rich cultural experience through the vast amount of books and titles, which reached about 300,000 titles.

During this session, the sales of books exceeded all expectations as it surpassed $50 million dollars, with an increase of 25% from last year’s session, where Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Iran and the UAE came among the most countries with sales focus. The award-winning Arabic novels (Al Poker) witnessed large turnout from visitors, where all displayed novels were sold. As well this year’s session attracted 580,000 visitors coming from all over the world to witness this great world cultural forum.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Amri, Director of Sharjah International Book Fair said: "Since its inception thirty years ago and Sharjah International Book Fair is achieving success after success and this was not possible without the great efforts of the Knight of Arab culture His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member Ruler of Sharjah, which has spared no effort in supporting local and Arab culture and highlighting its intellectual, beautiful & valuable core as well as showing what the Arab and Islamic civilization owns from treasures of knowledge and elevation in cultural history. In this year’s session the unexpected happened starting from the large crowd of visitors and media plus the Arab and international Publishers as well as the size of events, seminars and cultural performances that truly resembled the remarkable level that Sharjah has reached to which it earned and deserved the title of the Capital of Arab culture.” He also added, “We will not stand at this point and we will continue to achieve successes in the exhibition sessions for the coming years so Sharjah will maintain its status as a great beacon glowing with diverse colors of culture and knowledge that guide every eager intellectual to drink from intellect forms, see the preeminent books and have a chance to meet with elite writers and publishers and identify what is in our age of cultural and intellectual issues and topics."

Over 10 days, the exhibition also hosted a group of journalists, publishers & writers, through a series of seminars and programs which received admiration of many visitors in various categories and ages, including the fourth session of the Arab Publishers cycle, which included a range of advice and guidance concerning the process of marketing, publishing and strategic plans through which they can employ websites as well as operations of buying & selling publications online. Furthermore, children had a large share through the “child program” which presented more than 200 activities with great variety throughout the days of the events. Added to the cooking pavilion where chefs presented a wide variety of foods and desserts that represented a number of Arab and international kitchens and a pavilion to display the various cookbooks. Not to mention the “book seminar program," where a group of writers and authors highlighted global topics of interest to the reader today as they were presented in the form of a smooth intellectual talk show.

Also this year, and to celebrate its 30th anniversary, Sharjah International Book Fair has witnessed the launch of grant translation fund of $300,000 U.S. dollars to support the field of translation, networking and educational programs to encourage the translation of books to and from Arabic to enrich the Arab and global culture with new & valuable stocks of knowledge and science that belong to our modern cultural world. Besides this year, the exhibition included the “on air reading club” program and this was further to the experience of the program "in the presence of the book," which was launched in cooperation with Sharjah Media Organization, that has presented a great supply of books & best titles.

SIBF 2011 also witnessed dozens of signatures of authors for their recently published books, most notably the signature of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah for his book "Hasad Al Seneen" In addition to referring to the problems and challenges that face the era’s culture as well as a number of activities accompanying the exhibition dedicated to the public from toys show to children’s plays, and the storyteller.

Participants and visitors praised the great efforts made by the Culture and Media Department of Sharjah Government in the organization of the event through attracting Arab and world-class authors and publishers added to the great diversity & increase of events from previous years, where they had the opportunity to meet directly with an elite group of exhibitors, writers and publishers from around the world. Furthermore, the great updates on the cultural issues they encountered through the seminars that dealt with a number of issues and matters of interest to the reader. It is worth mentioning that, translations to and from the Arabic language has been provided to all the seminars and lectures hosted by this year’s session.

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