Sharjah: At the ongoing 29th Rabat International Book Fair (RIBF), the Sharjah Book Authority's (SBA) pavilion has emerged as a focal point of cultural and literary exchange, drawing the attention of both officials and the general public.

The Authority is actively presenting the UAE’s rich cultural heritage and the emirate’s thriving cultural and publishing sector, providing visitors with a glimpse into its dynamic traditions, innovative literary contributions, and expansive global initiatives reflecting the country’s efforts to strengthen bilateral relations with Arab countries. With 743 exhibitors from 48 countries participating in this year’s fair, held from May 9 to 19, the event demonstrates the growing importance of cross-cultural dialogue in the literary world.

During the event, the pavilion received a visit from HE Aziz Akhannouch, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco. He was greeted by Badr Mohammed Saab, Director of Government Communication at SBA, who presented him with a copy of ‘My Early Life’ by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. 

At the international gathering, the SBA is promoting a wide range of globally renowned events and exhibitions organised by the authority throughout the year. These include the Sharjah International Book Fair and the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival, in addition to specialised events such as the Sharjah Publishers Conference, the Booksellers Conference, and the Sharjah Animation Conference, which reflect the country and emirate’s dedication to developing the creative industries and advancing the literary and artistic movement in the region and the world.

Comprehensive services for the publishing and creative industries

SBA also held a series of meetings with publishers to enhance cultural communication, where the authority showcased the awards it offers to support creators, including writers, publishers, illustrators, and translators. Highlighted among these accolades were the Arab Children’s Book Publisher Forum Award, designed to stimulate the production of Arabic children’s literature and digital content, as well as the Sharjah Translation Award (Turjuman), which honours exceptional translations of Arab and Islamic works across intellectual, cultural, and creative domains.

The Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone is also proving to be a key highlight at the fair, and it has introduced publishers and creators to its comprehensive suite of services and contributions that support investors and businesses related to the publishing sector. The Sharjah pavilion also showcased a diverse selection of cultural and literary publications from a range of institutions and organisations, featuring prominent names such as the Kalimat Group, the Sharjah Department of Culture, and Al Qasimi Publications.

Highlighting Sharjah’s cultural role

Badr Mohammed Saab, Director of Government Communication at SBA, stated the importance of Sharjah's engagement in Arab and global book fairs, highlighting how this participation reflects the emirate’s commitment to nurturing cultural advancement under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. Saab underscored that involvement in such events enhances cultural and academic ties with institutions and publishers throughout the Arab world, with a particular focus on the Maghreb region, fostering broader international collaboration with key stakeholders in the publishing sector.

Saab further elaborated, “SBA’s engagement in this fair strengthens bilateral relations between the countries on a cultural level, in addition to generating economic and investment prospects. By strengthening ties with publishing and distribution entities and showcasing Sharjah’s comprehensive services, we aspire to cultivate a thriving, competitive industry that remains agile and responsive to the pace of global transformations”.