Growing demand for language-learning books at Sharjah International Book Fair 2020
Arabic and French-learning books are the most popular at 11-day book fair that runs till November 14

Sharjah, November 9, 2020

As booklovers eagerly browse through the bestsellers on display at Expo Centre Sharjah where the 39th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) is running till November 14, a smaller section in most exhibitor pavilions has been witnessing steady streams of visitors.

It’s the one that stocks the perennially popular language-learning books. The lure of titles like English for Everyone, 15-minute Arabic: Learn in Just 12 Weeks, among dozens of others, that teach Arabic, French, Spanish and other popular languages spoken around the world, are pulling in aspiring learners and language students looking for books that’ll do the trick.   

“These books constitute around 20 to 25 percent of our total books sales,” said a publisher-distributor who has been exhibiting at SIBF for the last 10 editions. “There has always been a high demand for English learning books among the Arabic speakers. Chinese, Korean and Urdu are also highly popular.”

A quick poll among the various booksellers and publishers established that books that aid learning Arabic and French were the most popular at SIBF, followed by Spanish, Italian and Chinese.

Another publisher also explained that more than individual customers, they depended on universities and institutional purchases to fuel their language-learning book sales, adding that the segment was significant as it generated 4 – 5 percent of their total book fair revenue.

These language guides are available with several participating publishers, who have materials to support new entrants as well as those looking for progress in their journey of language learning. Promoting such books is in line with SIBF’s objective of initiating human dialogue between nations and creating a variety of modes of cultural communication and exchange that promote the values of love and peace.

SIBF 2020 is a 11-day celebration of literature, knowledge, and culture, with 1,024 participating publishing houses from 73 countries displaying over 80,000 new titles in English, Arabic, and other languages. Book lovers can buy their favourite titles by pre-booking fixed visitation slots at