UK celebrates Sharjah Ruler’s cultural project designating the emirate as Market Focus at London Book Fair 2022

As the first representative of an Arab country to receive this honour, Sharjah will spotlight achievements in culture, literature and publishing from April 5-7

  • Fahim Al Qasimi: Britain’s celebration of Sharjah is a recognition of the significance and historic role of Arab culture in the process of human civilisation
  • Ahmed Al Ameri: Emirati intellectuals and publishers are the best models to showcase the works of Sharjah’s institutions and cultural initiatives

Sharjah, April 1, 2022

Shortly after Sharjah’s Guest of Honour participation in Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCFB) 2022, the UK will now celebrate His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah’s visionary cultural project, as the emirate takes centre stage at the 49th edition of London Book Fair (LBF) as its Market Focus, becoming the first representative of an Arab country to receive this honour.

The book fair, taking place from April 5 – 7 at Olympia London (Olympia Exhibition Centre) will convene a host of copyright professionals, content creators and publishers from around the world.

At LBF 2022, in participation with a host of cultural, heritage and creative entities, Sharjah will lead a robust programme of literary and creative events that highlight its leading cultural project at the emirate’s pavilion where the UAE flag will fly high alongside the flags of around 100 other participating countries. The emirate will showcase the vision of each entity and spotlight its efforts in building a knowledge-based society, boosting Arabic and Emirati publishing sectors and investing in cultural industries rooted in local and Arab heritage.

Sharjah’s ‘Market Focus’ programme will comprise 16 heritage and cultural events and will see the presence of a group of renowned Emirati authors and artists who will engage with their British counterparts in an open cultural dialogue. Sharjah will organise an array of live artistic shows and performances that exemplify UAE’s national identity and culture, in addition to hosting poetry evenings that celebrate the uniqueness of Emirati poetry.

Commenting on the emirate’s vibrant presence at LBF 2022, the head of the Sharjah delegation and Chairman of the Department of Government Relations (DGR), Sharjah, Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, said: “The UK is celebrating Sharjah’s cultural project, and our goal is to enhance fruitful communication with British cities to advance relations at all levels and in all fields. More importantly, this honour is a testament to Sharjah’s vision of investing in culture and books as a firm foundation for cross-cultural communication, understanding, mutual respect of cultural values, and the recognition that human civilisation is the outcome and culmination of the contributions of nations and civilisations worldwide, and not the outcome of any one cultural identity.”

The DGR Chairman added: “The glorious outcome of this vision has led to this distinguished honour, and when the UK celebrates Sharjah, it is acknowledging and appreciating the significance of Arab culture and its role in the process of human civilisation. This honour is an embodiment of the power of culture which leads nations to boost their development projects and highlight their position and presence on the global cultural map. As Emiratis, we are proud that all around the world, Sharjah is today synonymous with culture and books. We are proud that the whole world perceives us as a nation whose identity appreciates books, respects art and creativity, and understands the true meaning of aesthetics and beauty. This is what makes us say at each event: Thank you, Your Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, for your wisdom, leadership and vision.”  

For his part, HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, stressed that Sharjah’s Market Focus programme at the book fair reflects the vision and directives of the Ruler of Sharjah, to advance the Emirati and Arab publishing industry, and forge partnerships between the emirate’s institutions and intellectuals with their counterparts around the world to facilitate exchange of knowledge and expertise.

He added that SBA is overseeing Sharjah’s Market Focus programme agenda and is coordinating with participating entities from the UAE to present a diverse array of activities that showcase the Arab and Emirati cultural movement at LBF, which is one of the largest trade shows for the book industry and an excellent platform for publishers and translation houses to conduct business and cooperation with leading cultural institutions. He pointed out that Emirati intellectuals and publishers are the best models to showcase the works of Sharjah’s institutions and cultural initiatives.

LBF 2022 will bring together 20,000 publishers, booksellers, literary agents, librarians and media representatives from 100 countries. The three-day event will be packed with events and activities, including workshops, seminars, and panel discussions that cover a wide range of topics, issues, and trends which address the needs of a broad range of markets and interests in the publishing sector.

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