Free Zone continues efforts boost prospects for UAE’s publishing industry
Publishing City gears up to participate in 38th edition of Sharjah
International Book Fair
City Free Zone (SPC Free Zone), a subsidiary of the Sharjah Book Authority
(SBA) and the world’s first specialised book printing and
publishing free zone, is gearing up to
participate in the 38th
edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), which runs from October
30 to November 9, 2019 at Sharjah Expo Centre.
In keeping with its objective of
developing the publishing sector in the region and its commitment to forging
strategic partnerships with a community of publishing experts, SPC Free Zone
seeks to boost the profile of the publishing industry in the UAE through its
presence at SIBF 2019, which will host the world’s leading authors, publishers,
editors, designers, printers, marketers and distributors.
Salim Omar Salim,
Director of SPC Free Zone, said: “With more than 2,000
publishers from 81 countries, 173 authors and over 987 cultural activities,
this year’s edition of SIBF celebrates the emirate’s recognition as the UNESCO
World Book Capital 2019, and furthers its position as one of the most prominent
global book events.”
“Sharjah’s rise as
a cultural beacon of the region and its prominence as a centre of knowledge and
innovation stems from the efforts of His Highness Sheikh Dr.
Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to
foster an environment built on the foundation of books and reading,” he added.
Held under the theme, ‘Open Books. Open
Minds.’, SIBF 2019 offers “a valuable
opportunity to share expertise and exchange knowledge in the publishing field,”
said Salim. “This year, 198 UAE publishers will be at SIBF, the largest
contingent ever to represent the nation. I urge the Emirati publishers to make
use of this historic opportunity to promote Emirati books, reach out to a
larger number of readers across age groups and cultures, and to utilise the
platform to network and connect with the regional and international
For SPC Free Zone, participation at SIBF 2019 will
round off what has been a momentous year for the emirate in the publishing
world that saw it participate in many of the world’s leading publishing events.
At Frankfurt International Book Fair
(FIBF), the world’s largest book fair, it conducted a series of panel
discussions and meetings with key German and European publishers to showcase
its leading expertise in supporting publishers in the UAE and the region.
Sharjah was the
guest of honour at the Liber International Book Fair – Madrid 2019 where SPC
free zone showcased its unique services and facilities
aimed at supporting and advancing the UAE’s publishing sector, and hosted
meetings with representatives of Spanish publishers and free zones.
At the Moscow International Book Fair (MIBF) where Sharjah
was a ‘Guest City’, SPC Free Zone was part of the Sharjah Pavilion that heard
discussions by Emirati authors, intellectuals and cultural figures.
For more than four decades now, the emirate of Sharjah has
been consolidating its position in the local and global cultural landscape
through an array of initiatives and projects. Investment
in cultural and educational pursuits is therefore high on the list of
priorities for Sharjah, and SPC Free Zone was established as a conduit of
investment into creating a thriving book industry in the world. Today, Sharjah has emerged as the region’s key
publishing hub and the services of the SPC Free Zone focused on supporting the
publishing sector, is an important pillar in
strengthening the cultural movement. The establishment of this specialised free
zone is also in keeping with the overall mission of the SBA to foster
investment and growth in the publishing and printing sector within the UAE and
the international community.