Mexican, Canadian and Japanese diplomats explore prospects
for cross-cultural collaboration with Sharjah at SIBF 2020

Sharjah, November 10, 2020

The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2020) has hosted visiting delegations of ambassadors, consuls, diplomates and State representatives of a number of countries to the UAE. Three official delegations representing the countries of Mexico, Canada and Japan were received by HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) at the Expo Centre Sharjah on Tuesday at the ongoing edition of SIBF.

The delegates were taken on a tour of the exhibitor halls that are hosting 1,024 publishers this year from 73 countries, and also visited their country pavilions which are part of the 11-day event. The officials were offered a first-hand experience of SIBF’s successful hybrid online – offline events model, developed in response to offer a safe cultural environment for the public to enjoy amid the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

During his meeting with HE Francisca Elizabeth Méndez Escobar, Ambassador of Mexico to the UAE, Al Ameri highlighted the various strategies designed and implemented by SBA for SIBF 2020, to ensure the continuity of cultural appreciation within the UAE community. The two officials then looked into ways more joint Emirati–Mexican cultural events can be organised in future, and cooperation can be strengthened between them in areas of publishing and knowledge production.

During his visit to the fair, HE Jean-Philippe Linteau, Consul General of Canada, toured the venue along with Al Ameri, met with the Canadian publishers who have participated in SIBF 2020, and was introduced by HE Al Ameri to the Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ) – the world’s first free zone dedicated to encouraging cultural entrepreneurship, supporting businesses in publishing, printing and allied fields that seek to expand into the Middle East.

Later in the day, HE Al Ameri met with a Japanese delegation led by Hideki Yabumoto, Vice Consul of Japan in the UAE. Educating them about SBA’s key annual international fairs and cultural events including SIBF and the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF).

The SBA Chairman noted: “The overwhelming international interest SIBF generates testifies the successful cultural vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, which emphasises on open dialogue and close relations with countries and cultures. The outpouring of love and participation SIBF receives every year has reaffirmed Sharjah’s status on the world map. We are particularly proud of the hybrid fair we have presented to the world this year, successfully navigating the challenges imposed by Covid-19. We are happy to bring 1,024 publishers on our platform to help them reignite their businesses and connect with their target audiences, and host renowned authors and intellectuals on our ‘Sharjah Reads’ virtual platform for a series of stimulating discussions.”