WAM Report: Abu Dhabi International Book Fair a bridge connecting world cultures

ABU DHABI, The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) is a world-class platform that brings together world cultures, building bridges of cultural exchange, and showcases the UAE’s knowledge-driven experiences, underscoring the cultural diversity of the Emirati community.

Each year, ADIBF invites one country to be its Guest of Honour and organise events showcasing its cultural, artistic and literary heritage. The Guest of Honour country is provided with many facilities, while its publishers and exhibitors receive special discounts.

France was the first country to be selected in 2011, when the Alliance Francaise organised several activities and events, allowing the public the chance to meet prominent French intellectuals, authors and artists.

In 2012, the UK was the Guest of Honour of ADIBF, which saw many cultural activities, featuring leading writers, as part of a collaboration with the British Council.

For the 2013 edition, the fair’s organisers selected Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as the Guest of Honour, enabling them to host activities that showcase the diverse cultural and traditional elements of GCC heritage.

In 2014, Sweden was announced the Guest of Honour, in recognition of its key role in promoting intercultural dialogue and cultural exchange, especially in terms of offering accolades that celebrate humanity’s creative products and encourage innovation, most notably the Nobel Prize.

The Guest of Honour in 2015 was Iceland, which set up a special pavilion highlighting a variety of Icelandic books and publications across poetry, theatre, novels, children’s literature, and many others.

In 2016, Italy was selected, and delivered a distinctive programme that went beyond literature to cover Italian music, cinema and cuisine.

With China as the Guest of Honour, the fair’s 2017 edition saw a huge turnout of Chinese exhibitors and over 200 Chinese publishers, and featured the Sino-Arab Digital Publishing Development Forum, which comprised over 50 events on publishing.

In 2018, the fair’s organisers chose Poland to be the Guest of Honour, to promote 1000-year history of Polish literature.

In 2019, India was the event’s Guest of Honour, and a high-level delegation of over 100 participants, including publishers, critics, intellectuals and writers, visited the event. The Indian pavilion showcased a wide range of elements and products of India’s literature, culture, art, music, cinema and dance heritage.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism named Russia as the Guest of Honour of the fair’s 30th edition in 2020, and invited Germany to be the Guest of Honour in its 2021 edition, which is currently taking place, featuring 20 professional and cultural events.

Source: Emirates News Agency