Beach libraries and celebrating reading through cricket will form part of the year-long programme in Sharjah when it becomes the 19th UNESCO World Book Capital.
The United Arab Emirates city was selected in 2017 and is the successor to Athens. It will mark the moment with a spectacular outdoor opening ceremony on 23rd April.
Elsewhere, “From Bat to Book” will see top cricketers share their favourite writing and a reading caravan will travel from place to place, setting up a Bedouin tent which will be transformed into a library wherever it goes.
Annual events the Sharjah International Book Fair, Children's Reading Festival, and International Storytelling Festival will all mark the achievement.
Bodour Al Qasimi, head of the advisory committee of Sharjah World Book Capital 2019, said: “23rd April will mark the beginning of a new chapter in Sharjah’s pioneering achievements and efforts to host leading cultural events and initiatives locally, regionally and globally.
“The event will offer a gateway to all 200 nationalities residing in the UAE to explore various sources of knowledge and culture. It will also be a unique platform for intellectuals, authors, publishers and artists to showcase their creativity and contribute to highlighting the irreplaceable value of books in promoting dialogue and empathy among civilisations around the world.”