High-powered cultural discussions will foreshadow the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
Running on the eve of the event at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on Sunday, May 23, authors, publishers, filmmakers and bloggers will gather at the inaugural International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries — being organised by the Arabic Language Centre and Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi. This will be for panel discussions exploring the innovate ways to produce engaging Arabic content for a digitally connected world.
Running from 9am to 6.30pm and free to the public upon online registration, the event has a programme of keynote speeches by influential figures, such as the president of the International Publishers Association, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi; bestselling authors, Ann Hiatt and Nicholas Carr; and Michael Garin, chief executive of Abu Dhabi media and production hub twofour54.
While sessions will cover a gamut of disciplines — from literature to screenwriting — most will explore methods to adopt when creating content to resonate regionally and abroad.
In Arabic Publishing: Where Are We, and Where Are We Heading?, executives from leading Middle Eastern publishing houses break down which Arabic genres are successful and whether regional digital books could take off in the region.
Popular Emirati YouTuber Sami Al Batati will join executives from TikTok and Twitter to examine the pros and cons of producing literary Arabic content on social media channels in a session titled Is Social Media the New Book Market?.
As for what opportunities online streaming holds for Arabic creatives, these will be discussed by a panel of UAE and international film, television and gaming executives, including DCT Abu Dhabi head of gaming and eSports, Sultan Riyami.
Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre chairman Ali Bin Tamim tells The National the aim of the event is to strengthen and forge new partnerships between Arabic content creators and international counterparts.
“We are delighted to host the inaugural edition of the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries as part of 2022 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair proceedings,” he says.
“We aim to establish a platform for a vibrant, cross-disciplinary conversation between publishers, content creators and entrepreneurs from different platforms to identify new opportunities and share experiences and best practices, to foster sustainable growth of creative Arabic content.”
More information on the inaugural International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries is available at congress.adbookfair.com.
Abu Dhabi: the cultural capital
The congress further cements Abu Dhabi's place as a cultural hub for the region.
The event and the book fair will come on the back of next week's Culture Summit Abu Dhabi.
Running from Monday, May 16 to Wednesday, May 18 at Manarat Al Saadiyat, the event brings together thought leaders and experts in the arts, heritage, museums, media and technology for a series of panel sessions and discussions surrounding culture's role in a post-Covid-19 world.
Confirmed guests of the summit include Malawi's first female President Joyce Banda; Noura Al Kaabi, the UAE Minister of Culture and Youth; Polish artist Agnieszka Kurant; and Grammy Award-winning Panamanian pianist and educator Danilo Perez.
Attendance to Culture Summit Abu Dhabi is free and open to the public.
To register, visit culturesummitabudhabi.com.