23 March 09 | Chad W. Post

This post originally appeared at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair blog.

After twenty-some-odd hours of travel (including a twelve-hour flight in a seat with a busted entertainment center that kept restarting and restarting as if it was possessed), I’m here in Abu Dhabi, at the Book Fair, waiting for the opening ceremony. Along with Ed Nawotka, I’ll be blogging all week about the goings-on here at the fair, including posts about the two big literary awards celebrated during the fair (Ed will be posting about yesterday’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction ceremony shortly), the various educational programs, facts and figures about the Arabic book market, etc.

This year’s fair is the largest to date, with 637 exhibitors from 52 different countries—a substantial increase from last year’s fair, which featured 482 exhibitors from 42 countries. Some of the countries represented for the first time include Australia, Korea, Italy, and Austria. As a result, the overall exhibition space increased by 14%.

I haven’t had much of a chance to walk around the fair, but the convention center—like much of Abu Dhabi—is quite impressive with a cavernous entrance hallway and clean, well-organized booths. More to come after the opening ceremony.


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