Inside Abu Dhabi’s literary circle

Brush shoulders with poets, writers and illustrators at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, where humanity is providing food for thought

Whether you’re a budding novelist or want to stay in the know about trends in the literary world, Abu Dhabi International Book Fair offers a coveted chance to expand your reading repertoire. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the annual event draws leading lights from the publishing industry in the Middle East and North Africa and is designed to stimulate discussion.

This year’s installment is themed around humanity with the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan selected as Personality of the Year in recognition of his role in shaping UAE society.

Poland is the guest country of honour. Visitors can discover the destination’s fascinating history though centuries-old literature, including the epic tales of Nobel Prize laureate Henryk Sienkiewicz and subtle poetry of Czesław Miłosz.

The broader cultural programme will touch on ways that Arab artistic and literary issues relate to the wider world. Highlights include an in-depth look at contemporary Arab sculpture and the movement to reignite Arab theatre by reconsidering the role of the play as a text.

While you’re there, you can browse hundreds of top tomes and get your favourites signed by visiting authors. For younger minds, the dedicated creativity corner will inspire kids to engage with books though a variety of fun and interactive games and activities.

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Taking place at ADNEC from25 April to 1 May. Open daily from 9am to 10pm (4-10pm on Friday). Free to the public.  

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