Sponsored: The one-week event is playing host to 2,000 events, welcoming 1,350 publishers from 90 countries…

The 33rd annual Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) is taking over Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre until May 5 with a host of cultural events, literary experiences, family-friendly activities and expert-led talks.

The free-to-attend fair is one of the most important cultural events on the calendar, celebrating the beauty of the Arabic language and the power of the written word. This year it plays host to 2,000 events and welcomes 1,350 publishers from 90 countries to bestow their knowledge on book lovers from across the UAE.

Here’s 5 reasons to check it out. 

A prominent regional author takes centre stage

This year’s ADIBF will see renowned Arab novelist Naguib Mahfouz honoured as the Focus Personality of this year’s edition. Recognised for his role in drawing attention to Arabic culture and novels through his work, the Nobel Prize-winning author will be profiled and celebrated through a series of events and workshops, including a series of sessions hosting accomplished authors, thinkers, and artists from various parts of the Arab world who will discuss Mahfouz’s timeless impact.

Book of the World

A first for ADIBF is the newly launched Book of the World programme, which sheds light on a piece of literature that has influenced the course of cultures through history and around the world. The first book selected for this honour is Kalila wa Dimna’ by Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa, which has had an enduring impact throughout history and across cultures.

Renowned experts and specialists will explore it through panel discussions, including ‘Fables: Between the East and the West’, among other activities.

Abu Dhabi Podcasts

Following the success of the Podcast from Abu Dhabi programme’s episodes last year, the Fair has organised a second season this year, bringing together the most popular podcasts in the Arab world, including Thmanyah, El-Podcasters, El-Sharq Podcast, Bouh podcast, Micspod, and Arab Youth Podcast.

Poetry nights

Poetry lovers can look forward to daily encounters with prominent wordsmiths during the Poetry Nights events, where renowned Emirati poets will present special evenings celebrating poetry and its leading figures.

Get creative at the Art Corner

For those with a keen eye for arts, a creative atmosphere is there to be enjoyed at the Art Corner, where local and regional artists will showcase their latest works and a range of workshops for all ages will allow you to flex your artistic side.

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, 9am to 10pm, April 29 to May 5, free entry but tickets essential. Get your tickets here