Emirates Publishers Association Discusses Opportunities in the UAE with Italian Publishers

Posted 3 years ago in NEWS & ARTICLES

At Turin International Book Fair 2019 where Sharjah is guest of honour



Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) led a panel titled ‘Publishing Opportunities in the UAE’ yesterday (Friday) at the ongoing Turin International Book Fair (TIBF) 2019. The objective was to share with members of the Italian publishing industry information about the emerging investment opportunities in the UAE’s thriving publishing sector, and the potential role the country can play as a gateway for them to expand into regional and global markets.


The panel was part of Sharjah’s cultural programme to celebrate its participation as ‘guest of honour’ at TIBF 2019.


Moderated by Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director of EPA, the panel comprised Dr Alyazia Khalifa, Board Member, General Secretary of EPA and Director of Al Fulk Translation and Publishing; and Tamer Said, Managing Director of Kalimat Group.


Al Kous thanked HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, for supporting Sharjah’s cultural project. He also lauded the efforts of the emirate’s cultural entities, especially Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), in connecting Emirati and Arab publishers with new business prospects via international partnerships and active participation at leading literary events worldwide.


He praised the UAE government’s efforts to promote industry practices, for instance, National Media Council (NMC)’s latest initiative that exempts Emirati publishers from circulation and print permit fees, and Ministry of Culture’s recent announcement to waive off ISBN fees for all publishers in the country.


Dr. Alyazia shared her first-hand experience about the world-class business opportunities and services offered by Sharjah Publishing City (SPC), saying: “SPC, the first-of-its-kind free zone dedicated to the publishing and printing business, is a pioneering concept in the region and the world. Because the Association has a presence at SPC, our dispatch and distribution process to local and international exhibitions is now better streamlined, and we have been presented with opportunities to reach out to international players to explore the potential for partnerships in a way that wasn’t available before.”


Dr. Alyazia added: “Additionally, Sharjah’s efforts to facilitate translations movements, buying and selling of books’ rights, contracting publishers, and supporting libraries are truly commendable. The ‘Turjuman’ Translation Award, for instance,has enabled me to sign agreements with international publishers, one of which is with a leading Italian publishing house.”


She emphasised that industry stakeholders and the government are working together to empower publishers and authors in the UAE. She also expressed that the EPA is committed to forging partnerships with relevant entities and departments to further its mission of benefitting the local publishing sector, promoting the UAE publishing industry’s competitiveness, and consolidate Sharjah’s position a leading hub for global publishers.


Regarding the capabilities of UAE publishing sector and the growth opportunities it offers, Tamer Said shared with the audience the experience of Kalimat Publishing Group, which began with one publishing house. It has today under its umbrella 4 publishing houses in the UAE, two in the UK, one in France and one in Italy. He said: “Kalimat would have not achieve this success without the enabling environment for publishers in the UAE and Sharjah in particular".


Tamer Said spoke about the major cultural events and activities Sharjah hosts annually, including permanent ones like the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), in addition to enhancing Sharjah’s and UAE’s prominence globally through book fair participations. All of these efforts, he said, are fueling the growth of the UAE’s publishing sector as they act as a gateway for global publishers and intellectuals into local markets and are a starting point of lasting international partnerships.


Tamer pointed out that Kalimat Group (KG) has invested in these opportunities to achieve great success in record time, forged healthy relations with international publishers, and benefited from emerging prospects. He said that their achievements are the output of a series initiatives launched by EPA, which facilitated KG’s work and paved the way for them to realise their vision to produce high-quality Emirati books, exhibited both in content and production.

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