The 36th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) – to be held late 2017 – will feature the UK as ‘Country of Honour’.
Apparently this “exemplifies the deep-rooted historical ties binding the UAE and the UK and our longstanding relation based on mutual cooperation and common interests in various domains”, according to Ahmed Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority.
It forms part of a year of bilateral cultural exchange organised by the British Council under the snappy title UK/UAE 2017.
The Book Fair – which 2016 had more than 2.3m visitors over its 11 days – will have a stand showcasing the best of the British publishing industry, with a cultural programme running through the year that will see British authors participating in various activities organised by Sharjah and the UAE.
Cortina Butler, the British Council’s Director of Literature, paid tribute to the way Sharjah has always stressed the importance of books and culture as a force for good – “we admire the support HH Sheikh Dr Sultan gives to the creative sector. We look forward to working with the Fair to bring Emirati writers to the UK and to take our authors to the UAE.”