Sharjah International Book Fair now the biggest in the world

Taking place until November 13, the fair is one of the first in the region to reprise a focused in-person programme in the wake of the pandemic

The 40th Sharjah International Book Fair is now the largest in the world, organisers have announced.

The event, which is taking place at the Expo Centre Sharjah until November 13, brings together more than 1,600 publishers from 83 countries and 15 million books. This year’s event is the largest since the fair was established in 1982.

The Sharjah Book Authority, the fair’s organisers, announced on Friday that it has also become, for the first time, the world’s largest book fair.

Held under the theme There is always a right book, the fair is one of the first in the region to reprise a focused in-person programme in the wake of the pandemic.

According to a release from the Sharjah Book Authority, “this new record reflects the fruition of SIBF’s efforts and a qualitative step towards the full recovery of the publishing and creative industries worldwide.”

Commenting on the achievement, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, said: "The new SIBF record is a local, regional and international achievement that could not have been realised without the continuing support of Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, who firmly believes that building strong societies and civilisations can only be achieved through knowledge and books.

"The world-renowned event has proved its resilience by bringing together 1,632 publishers from 83 countries to exhibit 15 million books, which includes 1.3 million unique titles, of which 110,000 are making their SIBF debut.”

More than 85 leading cultural figures are taking part in this year’s SIBF, including Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, Jnanpith Award-winner Amitav Ghosh, The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, Chaos of the Senses author Ahlam Mosteghanemi and The Pursuit of Happyness author Chris Gardner, all of whom are confirmed to appear in person at the fair.

The fair will also host more than 1,000 activities, including 440 cultural sessions, in addition to 355 shows, performances, seminars as well as workshops for children.

Updated: November 6th 2021, 8:28 AM