The 38th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) concluded after a record turnout of 2.52 million visitors through the 11-day event, organised by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA). The event witnessed the participation of Nobel laureates, Booker Prize and Oscar winners, along with 2,000 publishers from 81 countries. On November 7, 2019, SIBF set a Guinness World Record for successfully hosting the world’s largest simultaneous book signing ceremony in one location with 1,502 authors from the UAE and beyond signing their own books.
To further expand the reach of books in the Middle East and African continents, SBA partnered with Big Bad Wolf Ventures Sdn. Bhd. (BBW) to set-up a regional branch at Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone. Under this new agreement, 1 billion books will be circulated across MEA countries over the next five years to widely introduce the literary products of individual nations to promote cultural exchange and appreciation. Sharjah Ruler allocates AED 4.5 million for purchase of books at SIBF 2019; His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah allocated AED 4.5 million for the acquisition of a selection of titles, brought in by publishers participating in SIBF 2019, to continuously update the emirate’s libraries with valuable reading materials and resources in history, literature, politics, arts, science, technology in Arabic and international languages.
HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, said, “SIBF has grown to become one of the top three book fairs in the world, an event that publishers, authors, book lovers, and children wait a whole year to participate in. This 11-day cultural celebration is born out of the vision of HE Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, to raise generations empowered by knowledge.”