First Published: 2008-03-04

'BookCrossing' comes to Abu Dhabi

Kitab warms up for 18th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair by launching BookCrossing initiative.


Middle East Online

ABU DHABI – Kitab, the joint venture company between the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and the Frankfurt Book Fair, and organiser of the upcoming 18th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), is warming up for ADIBF by bringing the global initiative that is 'BookCrossing' to Abu Dhabi.

Taking place from 11th to 16th March, this year’s ADIBF will pay host to a number of innovative activities. BookCrossing will be the first initiative to kick off this Fair, which is well in line with KITAB's mission to help promote reading in the Arab world.

Starting on the 4th March, a week prior to the Fair, Kitab will during one week distribute over 350 books (13 different titles) free-of-charge to the public from a booth in the Capital's Marina Mall. Each book will contain its own dedicated serial number and a sticker asking the reader to log on to and register that they are reading the book. When finished with the book, the reader is asked to pass it on to friends or family, or leave it in a public place, so that it may be read by someone else. All those who have read the book can then track its journey on-line, as it passes from person to person. All the books being distributed have been written by authors attending this year's ADIBF, including Alaa al-Aswany, Turqi Al-Hamad, Khairy Shalaby, to name a few.

"For this year’s Fair, we’ve spiced up the programme with initiatives that we’re sure will delight our visitors,” said Mr Jumaa al-Qubaisi, Director of ADIBF.

“In our increasingly electronic world, it is our responsibility to ensure that we do not lose the enjoyment of reading. BookCrossing is an ideal way to encourage young people to pick up a book and enjoy interactivity with that book’s journey, demonstrating the pleasure that reading a book can bring,” he added.

The 18th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair kicks off March 11th and runs till March 16th. The first day, March 11th, will be dedicated exclusively for trade visitors. ADIBF will be open daily from 10am – 9pm.


The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is the most professionally organized, most ambitious and fastest growing book fair in the Middle East and North Africa. Abu Dhabi is the motor driving the professional and commercial development of the regional publishing industry, and is financially and philosophically committed to the long-term expansion of the global book business.

The 18th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is a major business initiative of Kitab, a joint venture of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage with the Frankfurt Book Fair. This cooperation allows for the exchange of ideas and expertise to develop an intellectual and professional forum for all sectors of the book industry of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.


Since November 2007, ADACH, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, and the Frankfurt Book Fair signed a deal to launch a joint venture company under the name of "Kitab".

The aim of the joint venture is to develop the book and publishing industry and promote reading in Abu Dhabi and the neighbouring Emirates. A key part of this strategy is the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage (ADACH) collaborated on for the first time back in April 2007 with great success. Kitab will focus on making the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair truly international and develop long-term networking opportunities between the Arabic and international publishing communities.

A part of Kitab’s remit is to encourage the establishment of international publishing houses in Abu Dhabi. Kitab will be instrumental in helping to develop a quality distribution system in the Arab World, as well as contribute to the professionalism in the entire Arab market.


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