The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2019 (ADIBF) will run from April 24-30, 2019, showcasing the UAE’s rich and authentic heritage and its cultural and literary output.
Ahead of its launch in April, ADIBF participated in the Colours of Friendship Holi Festival to highlight India as its 2019 Guest of Honour.
ADIBF’s attendance at last weekend’s festival, which was held in Khalifa Park in Abu Dhabi, and last year’s announcement that India would be the guest of honour for ADIBF 2019 are part of the Department of Culture and Tourism- Abu Dhabi’s (DCT Abu Dhabi) wider plans to highlight 2019 as the ‘Year of Tolerance’ and to underline and emphasise the multicultural diversity in the UAE capital.
Last weekend’s celebrations were filled with various activities including a rain dance and Indian drumming, organised by NMC and IBPG and in support of the Ministry of Tolerance. The festival hosted the ambassador of India, Navdeep Suri, who asked the crowd to explore the literary worlds of the UAE and India at the upcoming book fair. The event featured residents from a diverse section from Asian, African and others ranging from seven to seventy years.
Book reading still remains a joy to many. Gulf Today spoke to a cross-section of the Abu Dhabi residents who revealed that the desire to read books still remains in adults and children’s hearts, despite the onslaught and the distractions of today’s digital media and technology. Many portrayed ‘books’ as being the greatest source of information and that the habit of reading remains their pleasure. Most residents said they read a book at least an hour or two daily, on their favourite topics whether it be literature, culture, novels, religious, fiction or science.
“Although the spread of television and the internet has given digital media a tremendous edge over books, we cannot assume a general decline in the popularity of reading as the sheer number of printed publications continues to grow,” said a resident from Sudan, Aadil Abbaadi. “Some resort to online reading mainly in cases of research and for other data gathering purposes. There will always be both print reading and screen reading.”
“Also, the joys of reading topics on discovery, science and exploring new worlds are still at large among the adults as well as the younger generation,” quipped Shuhaila Ali from Hyderabad, India.