“SIBF is my must-attend event every year,” says young UAE local on a visit to SIBF 2020

Sharjah International Book Fair 2020 welcomes visitors in pre-booked, timed slots

Sharjah, November 5, 2020

Within an hour of her visit to the 39th Sharjah International Book Fair being held at Expo Centre Sharjah where 1,024 global publishers are exhibiting 80,000 new titles in the Fair’s hybrid format this year, UAE national Asma Yousuf had bought five books and was seen scouting for more.

“SIBF is my must-attend event every year,” said the young book lover who had come well prepared with a printed list of around 40 books she hoped to pick up at one of the top three book fairs in the world. “I do extensive research before every SIBF, visiting bookstores in the UAE and checking out libraries for the titles I am looking for. Whatever I am unable to source there, I am almost certain to be able to pick up at the book fair.”

Her personal favourites are self-development literature, whether they are in guide form or impart life lessons and timeless wisdom in a fictional novel format, said Asma, who reads at least six books every month.

Her brother, who accompanied her, had picked up 10 Arabic language translations of novels from around the globe, in various genres. “These are books that have been translated from their original publications in Italian, German, English, and other languages,” he said.

Asma, on the other hand, preferred to go for the English language editions. “I prefer to read them in the original language version as plenty is often lost in translation. I also look out for new editions of books I have previously read.”

The young UAE national added: “Given that SIBF 2020 is being held under challenging circumstances amid the ongoing pandemic, I must commend the SIBF organisers for the stringent health and safety measures that are in place here to ensure the wellbeing of all visitors. We had to register online to pre-book a time slot for our visit, we are given colour coded bracelets to monitor our entry and exit, temperature checks are taken via thermal scanners.”

Such safety protocols inspire confidence and alleviate any fear one may have of COVID-19, she said, adding, “I urge everyone to visit the Sharjah International Book Fair and take advantage of discovering the unique titles found here. It is a more relaxed environment this year with restricted visitor numbers, and you can safely browse to your heart’s content.”

To book a timed visiting slot, visitors must register on registration.sibf.com.