Abu Dhabi International Book Fair unveils Covid-19 safety measures for May event: negative PCR test required

The festival’s resumption continues the resurgence of the region’s publishing industry

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair will return with strict safety measures. Pawan Singh / The National
The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair will return with strict safety measures. Pawan Singh / The National

A negative PCR test is needed to attend this year's Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

Running from May 23 to May 29 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec), the book fair has announced a number of public safety measures in response to the pandemic.

Prior registration is required for visitors on the fair’s website and mobile phone app, with a maximum of three hours per session.

Coloured bracelets will be provided upon entry to enable officials to determine when each session has concluded.

Visitors and exhibitors are required to activate the Al Hosn app on their mobile phones and present either a negative PCR test result, to be conducted within 48 hours, or the letter E indicating full vaccination to gain entry.

Body temperatures will be checked upon arrival and there will be allocated entry and exit points. Entry will be temporarily suspended when the fair reaches its allotted capacity.

In addition to daily sanitisation of the venue, all visitors and exhibitors will be required to wear a face mask at all times and maintain social distancing of two metres.

“This exhibition is the largest international book fair to be held since the beginning of this year,” said the fair’s new executive director Moza Al Shamsi.

“Today we are pleased to announce our full readiness to host an event of this size, only possible due to the success of Abu Dhabi in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Announcements of the fair's return continue the resurgence of the region's publishing industry, which includes the successful staging of the Sharjah International Book Fair last November and the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in March.

Germany is the guest of honour

As well as running under a hybrid model blending in-person and digital events, the book fair will hold a part of its programme outside Adnec.

This will include a series of German film screenings at Manarat Al Saadiyat Park from Thursday, May 27 to Saturday, May 29, in addition to the exhibition From Cinderella to Sinbad: German and Arab Timeless Tales, at the Cultural Foundation from May until September. Dates for the latter will be announced soon.

Both events are part of Germany’s role as this year’s guest of honour of the book fair.

With the full programme to be announced soon, Al Shamsi said it will include a comprehensive list of guest authors, publishing houses and exhibitors, taking part in discussions and panel sessions.

A focus on online publishing

Some of these exchanges will be held online as part of virtual platform for selling copyrights in the Arab region.

Launched by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, the initiative is part of the organisation’s push into the online publishing sector, which includes translation grants for ebooks and audiobooks.

It remains to be seen if the ceremonies for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which are usually a part of the book fair, will go ahead physically this year.

More information on the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is available at adbookfair.com

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Read more:

What the Sharjah International Book Fair looks like on the ground: 'Virtual book fairs pale in comparison'

How lessons learnt from the 2021 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature could transform future events

Rare manuscripts and books to go on display at Sharjah Book Authority

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Updated: April 29, 2021 07:00 PM

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