Sharjah will transform into a K-culture hub this November when its book fair returns. South Korea will be the guest of honour at the upcoming Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF). This means all thing Korean will delight the UAE that has wholeheartedly embraced the K-wave.

The 42nd edition of the SIBF will be held from November 1 to 12 at Expo Centre Sharjah.

According to organisers, the South Korean pavilion at SIBF 2023 will present a rich cultural programme of activities and events that reflect the aesthetics and diversity of the Korean culture, which is particularly popular among the youth. Through panel discussions, workshops, culinary demonstrations, and artistic performances, visitors will have the chance to learn about the history, civilisation and arts of South Korea. The pavilion will also host several authors and cultural figures from South Korea who will share their experiences and perspectives.

This nomination for Sharjah’s biggest cultural event is poised to celebrate the richness of the centuries-old Korean culture and heritage. The “pioneering ways” in which South Korea has modernised its cultural landscape by being strongly rooted in its past has garnered immense attention and popularity across the Arab region and the world, according to the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA).

South Korea had celebrated Sharjah as its guest of honour at the 65th edition of the Seoul International Book Fair in June.

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the SBA, said the emirate is solidifying its status as a global cultural hub. Prestigious cultural platforms like the SIBF further advance communication between nations, “making the global cultural landscape more diverse and vibrant”.

“SIBF has established itself as an exemplary Arab accomplishment, and we are elevating its role to enrich global culture. It has served as a platform for publishers, book industry professionals, and libraries to flourish, build partnerships, and strengthen relationships with their target audience. Moreover, the event has broadened the horizons for newer developments in Arab culture, enabling it to reach broader segments of society,” said Sheikha Bodour.

Ahmed bin Rakad Al Ameri, CEO of the SBA, said South Korean culture, history, customs and practices will meet the UAE’s Arab values, rich history, and heritage this November.

“This represents an opportunity for the public, publishers, library owners, and book institutions to directly engage with a distinguished culture of the far east. SIBF serves as a platform to strengthen their connections with local and global markets. At the same time, our guest of honour programme has served as an ideal gateway for new cultural accomplishments like the establishment of institutes, signing of partnerships, and the launching of initiatives over the past years that brought Sharjah and the UAE closer to nations worldwide,” he added.

In 2022, the SIBF brought together more than 2,213 publishers from 95 countries alongside 150 writers and thinkers from 57 countries. For the second year in a row, it earned the title of the largest book fair in the world in the sale and purchase of publishing rights.

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