Abu Dhabi International Book Fair welcomes 800 exhibitors

<p>The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has shrugged off the worldwide recession affecting the rest of the world&rsquo;s events, growing once again in terms of exhibitor numbers and countries represented.</p><p> The fair, which was opened yesterday (Tuesday 2nd March) by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince&rsquo;s Court (<em>pictured</em>), is reporting that more than 800 exhibitors have taken space this year, up from 637 in 2009&mdash;which was itself an increase on the previous year. Publishers, authors, librarians and agents from more than 60 countries are attending, compared with 53 last year.</p><p>Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, director general of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, said the growth &quot;illustrates how the fair&rsquo;s magnificent new achievements are continually surpassing those of previous years&quot;. Al Mazrouei added: &quot;It is a true gateway for [the] publishing sector&rsquo;s emerging markets in the Arab world to showcase their talent and work to an international audience and for the international industry to see what our region has to offer.&quot; </p><p>Other fairs have recently struggled to command the same response while the financier of Dubai International Children&#39;s Book Fair, the Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, pulled the plug before it launched.</p><p>Seasoned fair-goer Lynette Owen, copyright director of Pearson Education, admitted that the rights centre was &ldquo;fairly quiet&rdquo;. But she added: &ldquo;I think the fair building from year to year in terms of UK attendance, but I imagine people were looking at their travel budgets quite carefully.&rdquo;<br /><br />Last year ADIBF launched a rights &ldquo;cash back&rdquo; programme, in which people were given financial incentives to strike deals at the fair. Owen said that last year there had been flood of applications at the last minute. &ldquo;There was a huge rush at the end of last year,&rdquo; she says. </p>