Kabeer Yousuf –
MUSCAT, Feb 16 –
The 22nd edition of Muscat International Book Fair featuring 450,000 titles from 750 global publishers will be held from February 22 to March 4 under the auspices of Dr Abdulmunim bin Mansour al Hasani, Minister of Information, at the new Oman Conference and Exhibition Centre.
This year, the city of Sohar will be the Guest of Honour and several intellectual, artistic and cultural programmes are scheduled to stage as part of the 11-day long festival of books.
The MIBF, which has ranked one of the best 3 book fairs in the Gulf region and among the best 10 in the Arab world, will see direct participation of 590 publishers and 160 through their agencies from 28 countries, according to the MIBF Committee headed by the minister.
“The Muscat International Book Fair, currently in its 22nd edition, has come a long way and secured a position among the best 3 such fairs in the region”, Dr Abdulmunim said at a press conference.
A vast range of official authorities taking part in the fair and an increased number of foreign books as well as children’s publishers make this year’s MIBF different from the previous editions. There will be 37 official authorities from the Sultanate of Oman and from various countries of the world making their presence at the festival of books.
The MIBF Committee, headed by Dr Abdulmunim, has Yousuf bin Abdullah al Balushi as Head of the MIBF Committee, Shaikh Hamad bin Hilal al Maamari, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and Ali Khalfan al Jabri, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Information, in order to steer and
guide the various activities of the international event.
Three integrated stalls are arranged for cultural events and an expanded corner for children’s activities and cultural as well as community programmes throughout the festival.
A number of authors, owners of leading publishing houses and other delegates will be present for discussions and cultural debates.
A dedicated media station will be open during the fair.
A range of restaurants, prayer rooms, clinics and banking services along with communication facilities are other attractions of this year’s MIBF.
Dr Al Hasani said that reading habits among the children are definitely on the rise and the Committee has made all efforts to inculcate and nourish the habit among the future generation.
“Certainly, reading habits among the children is on the rise which is quite evident from last year’s edition of MIBF. We have made all efforts to inculcate and nourish the reading among them with lots of fun-packed activities and learning sessions which will make reading a fun”, Dr Abdulmunim told the Observer.
Visiting time: 10 am to 10 pm (Except Friday from 4 pm)
Transport: Mwasalat plies every 20 minutes connecting Ruwi and Rusayl with OCEC
Schedule of Muscat International Book Fair: The book fair is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm
• Fridays: from 4 pm till 10 pm
• Students’ days (Boys): February 23 and 27 and March 1, Thursday, Monday and Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm
• Students’ days (Women and female students): February 26 and 28 and March 2, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am to 2 pm
Countries participating in the MIBF (No of stalls in bracket); Sultanate of Oman (98), Algeria (3), Bahrain (3), Brunei (1), Canada (2), Egypt (148), Germany (1), India (1), Iran (3), Iraq (3), Italy (1), Jordan (47), Kuwait (29), Lebanon (82), Libya (1), Mauritania (1), Morocco (2), Pakistan (1), Palestine (5), Qatar (3), Saudi Arabia (19), Sudan (2), Sweden (1), Syria (78), Tunisia (3), Turkey (2), UAE (46) and UK (4).