The 42nd edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) begins today at the Expo Centre Sharjah, bringing together creators, publishers, distributors, translators, and bibliophiles from over 108 countries. The 12-day event, themed ‘We Speak Books,’ promises a rich cultural experience with more than 1.5 million titles on offer at discounted prices.

Key Takeaways

  • Event Duration: November 1-12, 2023
  • Location: Expo Centre Sharjah
  • Theme: ‘We Speak Books’
  • Guest of Honor: South Korea
  • Number of Titles: Over 1.5 million
  • Number of Publishers: More than 2,000
  • Number of Activities: Over 1,700

Emirati and Arab Figures

Several notable Emirati and Arab figures will grace the event, including poet and researcher Khaled Al Badou, author Dr. Mashael Al Nabooda, and Libyan writer Ibrahim Al-Koni, who is the ‘Cultural Personality of the Year.’ Other prominent attendees include Algerian writer Ahlam Mosteghanemi and Egyptian novelist Ahmed Mourad.

International Guests

This year’s SIBF will host a variety of international guests, including Nigerian Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell, and Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor. Other notable attendees include Swedish behavioral expert Thomas Erikson and American astronaut Sunitha Williams.

Interactive Spaces and Workshops

The fair will feature six interactive spaces hosting over 900 workshops on topics ranging from comics to mental health. These activities will be led by 215 guests from 69 countries.

South Korea’s Guest of Honor Program

South Korea, this year’s guest of honor, will organize 17 activities under the theme ‘Imagination Without Borders.’ The program includes cultural events, panel discussions, and musical performances by Korean artists. Three renowned Korean chefs will also participate in the Cookery Corner.

Social Media Station

The Social Media Station will offer workshops and sessions on enhancing partnerships with social media influencers, trends in artificial intelligence, and the production of AI-enhanced content.

Exciting Shows

A lineup of 130 theatrical performances from 14 countries will be showcased, including the premiere of the Emirati play ‘Barcode Prison,’ which humorously addresses the issue of bullying. A children’s play by the ALJ Sisters Band will also be featured.

Cookery Corner

The Cookery Corner will host 12 international chefs showcasing their culinary skills through 45 dynamic activities. Chefs from South Korea, the UK, Ethiopia, Canada, Romania, Greece, and India will participate.

Thriller Festival

The second edition of the Thriller Festival will take place from November 8-10, featuring ten international authors specializing in the thriller and crime genres. Notable authors include Felix Francis, Ivy Pochoda, and J.D. Barker.