Abu Dhabi, UAE – Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region, the third edition of Al Dhafra Book Festival kicked off yesterday. Taking place at the Public Park in Zayed City in the Al Dhafra Region, the event runs until 9 December under the theme Celebrating a Cultural Legacy’.

The opening ceremony was attended by H.E. Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi); H.E. Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre; H.E. Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi; and H.E. Nasser Mohammed Al Mansouri, Undersecretary of the Ruler’s Representative Court in Al Dhafra Region. H.E. Mohamed Ali Al Sheddi Al Mansouri, Director-General of Al Dhafra Municipality, and Hamad Khamis Al-Mansouri, Executive Director of Al Dhafra Hospitals.

Al Dhafra Book Festival is a continuation of the Al Dhafra Book Fair, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of DCT Abu Dhabi. The 2022 edition presents a renewed version of the event, inspired by the rich local cultural heritage, which promotes a sense of belonging, encourages creativity and innovation, and celebrates literature and writers. The event aims to advance and promote the Al Dhafra Region as a key part of the UAE’s cultural scene, in addition to offering a unique platform for all segments of the community to enjoy books.

The festival will provide intellectual content that connects the various segments of Emirati society with their heritage, documenting their connection to the past to inspire pride and promote the values of belonging and loyalty to the UAE. The festival also aims to create a society of cultured and avid readers who can make significant contributions to the UAE’s continuous development and progress.

H.E. Al Hosani said: “The Al Dhafra Book Festival strengthens the leading role that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi plays in organising innovative cultural events that promote a sense of belonging and national identity, and pride in the Emirati cultural, literary, and artistic heritage. The festival encourages a culture of reading among all segments of the community, with a diverse programme that departs from the conventional framework for events and exhibitions to become a rich celebration of culture and knowledge. The event is an ideal opportunity to introduce Emirati culture and heritage to the region’s community, which is an extension of the authentic values of Emirati society.”

H.E. Dr. bin Tamim said: “Al Dhafra Book Festival aligns with our objectives at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to advance the status of the Arabic language and position it as a key component of Emirati identity and a pillar of UAE culture. With its new and improved format, the 2022 edition of the festival cements the ALC’s leading position in organising major cultural events that meet the highest standards and cater to the needs and requirements of the community in the Al Dhafra Region. The event also enhances the remarkable intellectual and cultural achievements of creative poets and writers, shedding light on inspiring works by renowned figures from the region.”

The 2022 edition of the festival is set to bring together 40 local publishers and distributors, who will present the latest books to encourage reading in the Al Dhafra community and provide an innovative and inspiring experience. The new format of the festival transforms it from an exhibition to an event packed with culture, education, entertainment, and artistic performances. The event aims to attract more than 15,000 visitors, including many students and families, to enjoy the various activities at the 4,000 square-metre site.

The Al Dhafra Book Festival 2022 presents a wide range of diverse literary, musical, and heritage-based activities. The programme includes more than 100 activities covering various topics, including a series of cultural evenings titled ‘Voices Loved by the People’, which will celebrate renowned and popular poets and artists from Al Dhafra.

The festival allocates two areas for children and young people’s activities, one dedicated to children’s workshops, performances, and story readings, and another for workshops for youth. The Al Dhafra Book Festival includes an art corner, which features performances by artists, as well as art workshops held throughout the day to cover numerous topics, including colour mixing, bag design, and more.

The event offers visitors a chance to meet a group of fictional characters inspired by Emirati and Arab folktales who have been brought to life with 3D models distributed across the festival. Also on the agenda is a series of roaming artistic and musical performances.

The Al Dhafra Book Festival 2022 is being held in partnership with the Al Dhafra Region Municipality - Department of Municipalities and Transport as a strategic partner, and Baynounah TV as a media partner.


About the Al Dhafra Book Festival

Al Dhafra Book Festival was established in 2018 with an objective to encourage a culture of reading among visitors of all ages, as well as to support the cultural movement in the Al Dhafra Region. The event was previously known as Al Dhafra Book Fair; in 2022, it was transformed into a cultural festival that offers visitors a celebratory atmosphere rich in cultural, educational, and entertainment events and artistic performances, inspired by the local cultural heritage of the UAE, and designed to promote a sense of belonging, and encourage creativity and innovation. The Festival aims to contribute to the advancement of the Al Dhafra Region, empowering it to occupy its rightful place on the UAE’s cultural scene.

About the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, established following a directive from His Highness the President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, as part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, works to support Arabic language development and modernisation through comprehensive strategies and frameworks, enrich the scientific, educational, cultural and creative contributions of the Arabic language, promote Arabic language proficiency and cultural understanding, and support Arab talents in the fields of writing, translation, publishing, scientific research, arts, content creation and organisation of book fairs. The Centre works to realise its foundational vision through dedicated programmes, human expertise, and meaningful partnerships with the world’s most prestigious technical, cultural, and academic institutions.

About the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) drives the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi's culture, tourism and creative sectors, fuels economic progress and helps achieve Abu Dhabi's wider global ambitions. By working in partnership with the organisations that define the emirate's position as a leading international destination, DCT Abu Dhabi strives to unite the ecosystem around a shared vision of the emirate's potential, coordinate effort and investment, deliver innovative solutions, and use the best tools, policies, and systems to support the culture and tourism industries.

DCT Abu Dhabi's vision is defined by the emirate's people, heritage, and landscape. We work to enhance Abu Dhabi's status as a place of authenticity, innovation, and unparalleled experiences, represented by its living traditions of hospitality, pioneering initiatives and creative thought.