Abu Dhabi Book Fair Announces 2021 Hybrid Festival Details

Last night, Abu Dhabi International Book Fair organizers held a news conference about this year’s hybrid book fair, scheduled for May 23-29:

CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse Juergen Boos

The press conference was held at the newly established Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC). Mouza Al Shamsi, acting executive director of the ALC and Director of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, said that the hybrid physical-online fair would offer a “unique experience” and a “creative and innovative version” of a combined fair. 

This year’s fair, which will feature Germany as a guest of honor, will have more than 800 exhibitors from 40+ countries, according to Al Shamsi.

Germany will also be the fair’s 2022 guest of honor. CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse Juergen Boos, who spoke remotely at the press conference, said that, with the situation being as uncertain as it is “we decided to extend our presentation to a two-year project.”

ADIBF Director Mouza Al Shamsi

According to the ADIBF news release, this year’s fair “will stage over 80 free sessions across its cultural, professional and educational programs. With all events being livestreamed, the aim is to reach audiences around the world in a way that has not been possible before.”

In addition, ADIBF is offering as part of its “Spotlight on Rights” grants program backing for translation funding for Arabic and international publishers with grants to support 300 titles in three categories: paper books, ebooks, and audiobooks. 

The ADIBF website has not yet been updated with details of this year’s cultural program; the news release noted only the participation of US and European authors, including Bettany Hughes, Mitch Albom, Paul Maar, and Levison Wood.