H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi Witnesses London Book Fair’s
announcement of Sharjah as Market Focus 2020
Sharjah, April 25, 2019:In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, London Book Fair (LBF) announced Sharjah as the Market Focus of London Book Fair 2020, which will be held from March 10–12, next year.
The emirate was announced as LBF Market Focus 2020 region at the ongoing Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2019). HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA); Jacks Thomas, Director of LBF; and Gavin Anderson, British Council, Country Director for UAE, attended.
The LBF Market Focus 2020 programme, with partners British Council and supported by the UK Publishers Association, will include a roster of cultural events celebrating Emirati authors and books. It will also feature a professional programme enabling business networking meetings between UK and international publishers with UAE publishers, where they will explore partnership opportunities and look into ways to expand into global markets.
Under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi, Sharjah has been committed to the promotion of books and literacy for over 40 years. It has become a centre for publishing across the Arab World with SBA’s flagship Sharjah Publishing City (SPC), the Sharjah International Book Fair, which will see the 40th anniversary in 2020, and the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, to name a few.
HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, said: “We are delighted to be LBF Market Focus in 2020, as it gives it yet another opportunity to reinforce the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah to strengthen bridges of cultural communication around the world. We believe in the power of books to foster knowledge, broaden horizons and open dialogue. London is the publishing capital of the world and at LBF 2020, we will present Sharjah’s unique cultural journey that has flourished and expanded beyond the Gulf to establish itself as a global hub.
“We will showcase the growth in our local and regional publishing sector, and SBA’s specific efforts to boost the number of new translations into and out of Arabic, which are the bedrock of
cross-cultural exchange between cultures. It will also be a key opportunity to establish author exchanges, and look into new business opportunities and partnerships with UK and international publishers.”
Jacks Thomas, Director of LBF, noted: “The London Book Fair Market Focus programme showcases not only the publishing industry and output of a country but also the culture and people its literature reflects. Cross-cultural exchange as a conduit to greater understanding is at the heart of the programme. As a significant, energetic and forward-looking participant on the global publishing stage, it is fantastic to be welcoming Sharjah as LBF Market Focus 2020. We look forward to working with Sharjah, our strategic partners British Council and the Publishers Association and colleagues across the Arab world to create author exchange programmes and to extend the reach of participating publishers – large and small, international and independents.”
Sharjah Market Focus pavilion at LBF
Sharjah’s Market Focus pavilion will be supervised by SBA and will showcase many cultural initiatives from across Sharjah, including projects by Al Qasimi Publications, Department of Culture in Sharjah, UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), Kalimat Group and Dr. Sultan Al-Qasimi Centre of Gulf Studies.
It will also highlight SBA’s flagship initiative, Sharjah Publishing City (SPC), which is the world’s first publishing and printing free zone, offering premium services and commercial advantages it offers to publishers, authors and other literary professionals from around the world.
Now in its 16th year, LBF’s Market Focus is a global celebration of literature and publishing. Over 40 countries and regions from across the globe have participated, including Mexico, South Africa, China, Australia, Korea, and Market Focus 2019 – Indonesia.