Abu Dhabi, UAE: A discussion panel titled ‘The Publishing Market in the UAE: An Overview with a Focus on explored opportunities in the publishing market at the 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), which is taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 23 to 29 May 2022.

Moderated by Claudia Kaiser, Vice President of the Frankfurt Book Fair/Frankfurt Buchmesse, the discussion was led by  Ahmed RashadCEO of Al Dar Al Masriah Al Lubnaniah, and Hessa Aljaroodi, owner and project manager at Madaar Publishing.

Speaking of readership trends in UAE, Ahmed Rashad said: “In the last decade, fiction books were the most published due to high customer demand, followed by self-help and children’s books. If new publishers plan to enter the UAE market, they must focus on these categories. Before 2022, we saw numerous publishers selling only through book fairs and bookstores. However, this changed after the pandemic as publishers had to go digital and focus on marketing through social media and e-commerce. Publishers need to invest more in marketing through social media, which has become indispensable.”

The experts shared insights and tips on how to effectively market books. “In the UAE market, publishers need to focus on high-quality book covers, especially when it comes to children’s books. Use bright colours, high-quality printing paper, and beautiful illustrations, and make the books attractive. Instagram and Snapchat are the best platforms for publishers today to influence purchase decisions,” said Hessa Aljaroodi.

“Rather than images, create videos and excite the reader with snippets of the story. For every book you release, you must have a book or an audiobook, because that market has seen massive growth since the pandemic.”

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), ADIBF features over 1,130 international, regional and local publishing houses from 80 countries. For more information, visit https://adbookfair.com/en/adibf.