Publishers dismayed by DICF cancellation

<p>Children&rsquo;s publishers have said they are dismayed by the cancellation of the Dubai International Children&#39;s Fair, but will continue to look for opportunities in the region.</p><p>The inaugural event had been due to take place in February, but <a href="../news/107358-dubai-international-childrens-fair-cancelled.html " target="_blank">last week it was announced that funding had been pulled. </a></p><p>A statement on the fair&#39;s website said: &quot;It is with the deepest regret that The Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation announces the indefinite postponement of the first session of the Dubai International Children&rsquo;s Book Fair.&quot;</p><p>Marlene Johnson, managing director of Hachette Children&#39;s Books, said her team had been planning to attend the fair on an &quot;exploratory&quot;&nbsp; basis. </p><p>&quot;It is a real shame that it&#39;s been cancelled. We had some very good meetings in Frankfurt... where the fair was held up as something that would be important,&quot; she said. &quot;We were told that the governments were focusing a lot on education, and we have a couple of strong lists in that area.&quot;&nbsp; </p><p>Emma Hopkin, managing director of Macmillan Children&#39;s Books, was also planning to send a contingent. &quot;It was a market-gathering exercise, to see how the books went down, and look for opportunities,&quot; she said. </p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s a shame because it was an opportunity to find out some market data &ndash; we sell rights in the region, and we have a strong export sale in the region, so we will be looking at another opportunity to get out there, whether on our own or looking at some other regional fair.&quot;</p>