Dubai set to rival Bologna with new fair

<p>A potential rival to the Bologna Children&#39;s Book Fair is being set up by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, which has a stand at the London Book Fair (LBF). The Dubai International Children&#39;s Book Fair will promote children&#39;s reading and literature in the Arab world and internationally, and is due to take place from 3rd to 10th February 2010. The Dubai event is scheduled to take place just one month before the Italian book fair&#39;s traditional March slot. </p><p>Dubai International Children&#39;s Book Fair c.e.o. Jamal Al Shehhi, said: &quot;Our objective is to network with like-minded people and showcase our offerings in children&#39;s literature in the context of Dubai International Children&#39;s Book Fair. We welcome publishers and other professionals operating in children&#39;s literature to participate. This event is part of our sincere endeavour to promote the habit of reading in the Arab region and elevate the status of children&#39;s literature in the publishing world.&quot;</p><p>The fair is part of the foundation&#39;s literacy strategy which aims to promote the love of reading among Arab children. The event is open to all international publishers and will provide an opportunity for publishers, illustrators and rights agencies in the Arab and Western world to combine. One of the main focuses will be books in translation and the fair will also feature special events and activities. The foundation says it has already had interest from more than 200 publishers around the world and has further plans to publicise the event.</p><p>Publishers Association manager of overseas trade fairs, Gloria Bailey, had not previously heard about the new fair. She said: &quot;Bologna is a very well-established fair. I don&#39;t think anyone would go to a fair in February and in March. It depends how international it is going to be, or if it is just going to be people from the Arab world.&quot;</p><p>Children&#39;s publishers exhibiting at LBF interviewed by The Bookseller had mixed opinions on the Dubai fair. Several had heard nothing about it, whereas others said that they had heard about it, but would not be attending as they meet all their contacts in Bologna.</p><p>Scholastic conference service manager, Maisha Johnson, said: &quot;I haven&#39;t heard about it, but I&#39;d definitely be interested to hear [more].&quot; Halliday Books m.d. Nick Halliday, said he would also be interested. &quot;We&#39;ll have to see how LBF goes, but I have had several emails about it,&quot; he said.</p>