The change was seen on Etisalat phone networks to mark the launch day of the World Book Capital initiative…

Etisalat phone users woke up to their network name changed to ‘SharjahWBC’ this morning.

Wondering why? Well, the change is to mark the launch day of the World Book Capital; an initiative being held in Sharjah which will see a host of events taking place throughout the year, starting April 23, 2019, to April 22, 2020.

So, what is the World Book Capital?

The World Book Capital is an initiative launched by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1996 that encourages and promotes publishing activities that are done at a local and global level.

The initiative also aims to promote peace, cultural enrichment, and intercultural dialogue through education, communication, and information.

Each time the initiative takes place, a city is picked to host the year-long events with Sharjah being named World Book Capital for the year 2019 in recognition of its continuous efforts in promoting books and literacy.

Sharjah is also known as the City of Knowledge and has established itself as the source for the region’s growing publishing sector, and has become the hub for most book-related events and organizations in the UAE.

What can you expect at the Sharjah WBC?

The Sharjah WBC will see a host of events taking place throughout the year until April 22, 2020, and will focus on all members of the community including the large expatriate population.

According to the official website, ‘the goal is to empower the community and strengthen the nation and region through literature.’

The official launch of the World Book Capital kicks off tonight, Tuesday April 23, at Al Majaz Amphitheatre with a stage production of ‘1001 Nights: Last Chapter’. The production will see 537 theatre artists and acrobats, innovators, technologists and storytellers represented by 25 nationalities plus a 51-piece live orchestra. Tickets for the show are available here

— For the best of Dubai straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

Images: provided