Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, has donated Dh4.5 million ($1.2m) to buy books from Arab and foreign publishers participating in the Sharjah International Book Fair this year.
The annual tribute is in line with Sheikh Dr Sultan's commitment to continually update Sharjah’s libraries with the latest titles.
All literary fields are covered, including science, the arts, fiction, culture and history, in both Arabic and foreign languages.
It is hoped the new influx of books into the emirate will serve students, researchers and academics with the most up-to-date content.
The sizeable fund allocation will also boost revenue for the publishing houses, book retailers and authors who are taking part in Sharjah's literature event, many of whom may have struggled to make a profit during the pandemic.
The 40th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair started on November 3 and will run until November 13 in Expo Centre Sharjah. Organisers say it is the largest of its kind in the world.
Held under the theme "There is always a right book", it is one of the first book fairs in the region to return to an in-person model post-pandemic.
The annual event is a temporary home to 1,632 Arab and global publishers from 83 countries.
Exhibitors showcase more than 15 million copies of 1.3 titles, with books for every age group and interest.
More than 85 leading cultural figures are taking part in this year’s event, 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 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 and seminars, as well as workshops for children.