What to expect from Sharjah's pavilion at The London Book Fair 2022

The emirate's cultural sector will be featured under the event's Market Focus programme

Day two of the London Book Fair on the 13th March 2019 at London Olympia in the United Kingdom. (photo by Sam Mellish / In Pictures via Getty Images Images)
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Sharjah will play a major role at The London Book Fair next month.

Taking place at Olympia London from April 5 to 7, one of the world's biggest book fairs will showcase the emirate as part of its Market Focus programme.

Launched in 2004, the initiative aims to put a spotlight on a designated country's publishing industry and to create a forum where further global connections and publishing deals are made.

Sharjah will join China, Mexico, South Africa and Australia, among others, in using the platform to promote its thriving cultural industry. This includes its key events such as the Sharjah International Book Fair and the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival, in addition to landmark sites, such as the Sharjah Publishing City and the mega library House of Wisdom.

The announcement comes as the London Book Fair returns to in-person events for the first time in two years after a break brought on by Covid-19.

While more focused on the business aspects of the publishing trade, the book fair will host a number of authors including the Women’s Prize for Fiction-winning author Maggie O’Farrell, children's authors Greg James and Chris Smith as well as Emirati poet Afra Atiq.

A key event of the book fair is the ceremony of the ninth International Excellence Awards, in which the House of Wisdom is nominated for the Library of the Year.

The exterior of the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, which opened in December 2020. Photo: House of Wisdom

The Sharjah cultural hub has been selected along with the City of Johannesburg Libraries in South Africa and the Fran Galovic Koprivnica Public Library in Croatia.

Other prizes to be handed out include the London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award, Audiobook Publisher of the Year, Bookstore of the Year Award, Educational Learning Resources Award, Rights Professional Award, Children’s and Young Adult Publishers Award, Literary Translation Initiative Award, as well as the Inclusivity in Publishing Award, which is eligible for entries from the UK only.

A total of 17 countries are included on the shortlist.

Spain leads nominations with three entries, followed by the US, Egypt and France. Greece has been shortlisted for the first time.

The London Book Fair’s return continues the publishing industry’s build back in the wake of Covid-19 and joins counterpart events in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Frankfurt, Cairo and Riyadh.

Updated: March 31, 2022, 11:25 AM