Calling all bookworms! Mark your calendar for a chance to get your hands on amazing book selections right here in Doha.
Excited to renew your book collection? Say no more! Qatar’s 31st Doha International Book Fair will kick off on Thursday at the Doha Exhibition & Convention Center (DECC).
The fair will see the participation of 37 countries from all across the globe, united under the slogan ‘Knowledge is Light.’ Throughout the event, visitors will get to see books by 430 direct publishers and 90 agencies, flaunting the fair’s rich variety and uniqueness.
The much-awaited event is organised by the Ministry of Culture represented by Qatar Cultural and Heritage Events Centre, and will take place throughout the week from 9 am to 10 pm, except on Friday when doors will only be open between 3 pm and 10 pm.
It aims to showcase the ‘human journey of exploration and learning,’ introducing the latest and most recent publications that reflect creativity and knowledge across all fields.
Jassim Albuenain, director of the book fair, said that this year’s event comes amid great anticipation from readers and intellectuals, with the fair covering a range of segments of society, from different ages to different cultures and languages.
He also added that this will be the first book fair of its kind to be held in Qatar and across the GCC region, highlighting that this is a significant indication that the Gulf nation has a long history of culture and is a catalyst in spreading knowledge.
For this upcoming edition, the United States of America will be the guest of honour, under the Qatar-US Year of Culture, the official added.
Publishing houses participating in the exhibition, have been incentivised by authorities in Qatar through being given assistance on customs clearance or being exempt from paying fees on agencies.The aim is to encourage them to enter the Qatari market move actively and assist in invigorating the book industry here.
Who will be there?
Qatar has welcomed hundreds of publishers from all across the region to ensure good variety is provided for the public.
Among the Qatari publishers participating in the bookfair are Dar Al Thaqafah Printing Press, Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press, Katara Publishing House, Qatar University Press, Rosa Publishing House, Zakrit Publishing House, Dar Al Watad for Publishing and Distribution, Dar Al Sharq Printing, Publishing and Distribution, Nabja House for Publishing and Distribution and Nawa Publishing House.
Organisers have exempted them from the financial cost of renting the pavilions and the cost of services provided by the exhibition halls in an effort to provide support and encourage the spread of knowledge and culture.
Meanwhile on a regional level, representatives from the, the Ministry of Heritage and Culture of Oman, and the Sharjah Book Authority, in addition to the ministries of culture in the Kingdom of Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, and Egypt the Egyptian National Library will all participate in the book fair.
In addition, for the first time in the fair, certain US publishing houses will also participate along with the Italian Embassy in Doha.
And for the little ones, the embassy will have a special pavilion displaying children’s books and establishing special activities for them. The world’s most important children’s book fair, Bologna Children’s Book Fair, will also participate in the one-week event.
Precautionary measures & Entry
In line with health regulations imposed by authorities, only 30 percent of the venue’s capacity will be allowed to attend the book fair at any one time. Entry and exit will be heavily monitored to avoid overcrowding and social distancing measures will be implemented at all times.
Pre-registration will be required through an electronic link (yet to be released) and only fully vaccinated people or those who have recovered from Covid-9 within the last 12 months will be allowed in. A green Ehteraz will also be mandatory to enter.