• Shedding light on digital publishing and enhancing the role of digitalisation in the emirate’s literary field.
  • Strengthening Dubai’s cultural and creative industries.
  • The first event held in the Mohammed bin Rashid Library.

Dubai: Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) organised the Digital Publishing Forum at the Mohammed bin Rashid Library, in the presence of Dr Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, CEO of the Arts and Literature Sector at Dubai Culture, and with the participation of a group of experts and specialists in digital publishing, to discuss the latest developments and tools that contribute to the advancement of this field through technology and innovation. This came in line with Dubai’s emphasis on a knowledge economy to promote sustainable growth.

During the forum, Mohammed Al Hebsi, Acting Director of the Literature Department at Dubai Culture, stressed in his opening speech the importance of the role that digital publishing plays in the literary field, saying: “In light of the rapid technological development witnessed in our world today, digital publishing has become an essential link in the world of culture and the dissemination of knowledge. It plays an important role in enabling writers to publish their literary productions and making them available to the public on a large scale.” He also attributed the significant contribution of digital publishing to the love of reading and knowledge among society members, especially the younger generations, thanks to the advanced means that make reading more interesting.

Al Hebsi indicated that the forum is the first-of-its-kind in the emirate, as it is the first event that was held at the Mohammed bin Rashid Library, which represents Dubai’s cultural front and is characterised by the latest digital technologies it employs and its digital transformation lab, which incubates more than 4 million books for adults, children, researchers and readers.

Al Hebsi affirmed that the forum aims to provide a platform for constructive dialogue between experts and specialists in the field of digital publishing through panel discussions that aspire to contribute to raising awareness of the mechanism of safe electronic publishing and its multiple tools, adding: “The forum seeks to encourage writers and publishers to turn to digitalisation and digital knowledge to spread knowledge and literature in formats that keep pace with the times and its requirements as well as keep pace with the aspirations of readers today, and tomorrow. It is part of the Authority’s efforts to motivate all stakeholders in the sector to actively participate in promoting the cultural and creative industries in the emirate and cementing its position as an innovative global cultural centre and the global capital of the creative economy.”

The forum's programme included three dialogue sessions. the first was in English and titled ‘Digitisation in the World of the Future’; it was moderated by Emirati writer Eman Al Yousuf, who tackled the themes of 'Digital Publishing between the Future, Marketing and Challenges' that was discussed by publisher Iman Ben Chaibah, and 'Piracy and its Impact on Children's Content' that was discussed by Dr Nabih Abdul Majeed.

In the second session, titled ‘Digital Publishing: Impact and Effect,’ moderated by Emirati writer Salma Ehfiti, Eisa Al Hammadi discussed the ‘Electronic Innovations and Their Role in Creating and Consuming Content,’ while Yasmine Atieh addressed the ‘Challenges and Opportunities Facing Digital Publishing.’

The third session was titled ‘Digital Publishing and Its Multiple Roles’ and was moderated by Emirati publisher Jamal Al Shehhi, whereby Shadi Al-Hassan discussed the topic of ‘Piracy in the Digital World,’ and Tariq Touma addressed the ‘Digital Publishing for the Child’ session, while Wael Kiwan shed light on ‘Digital Publishing in the East.’