Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, has responded to calls from the UAE publishing community to re-chair the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) and has announced that she will seek a second term as president of the organisation.
The Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group – the UAE’s most prominent publisher of children’s literature – is submitting her candidacy following requests from Emirati and Arab publishers who have highlighted her outstanding efforts to develop the publishing industry in the UAE and Arab world.
Acknowledging the endorsement of the publishers, Sheikha Bodour thanked them for their trust and stressed that the demands of Arab publishing compel her to continue her efforts to support the local and Arab publishing sector. She said that the development of the industry is one of the main priorities in the UAE’s cultural project, with the sector being a significant driver of knowledge growth.
“The prudent leadership of the UAE, which has embraced a forward-thinking vision, has linked future opportunities to science, innovation and culture, and made reading a fundamental pillar of the country’s ambitions. The Arab and global publishing market offers a great opportunity for Emirati publishers and requires the opening up of new channels of dialogue and cooperation with countries around the world,” Said Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi.
“Over the few past years we have succeeded in building strong relationships with publishing companies and international book markets, a move that has reflected positively on the local publishing sector. This reaffirms our ambition to boost and strengthen these relations in order for our sector to further advance and grow.
Highlighting the incredible strides made by the Emirati publishing industry, Sheikha Bodour said: “The UAE has become one of the world’s fastest growing markets for books, with the sector increasing by 12 per cent annually over the past decade. The domestic publishing market is valued at $233 million and is expected to grow to $650 million by 2030. It is the 34th largest market in the world and publishes 500 titles a year compared to a mere six titles in 1970.”
“UAE book exports are worth more than $40 million per year with Europe being our largest global trading partner in the sector. The UAE’s publishing trade relationship with the European Union is worth over $90 million annually,” Sheikha Bodour added.
Sheikha Bodour reiterated her commitment to continuing her role in supporting the UAE and Arab publishing industry, saying that she will spare no effort or opportunity to drive local publishing to greater heights of excellence. “Supporting UAE publishing is not only the responsibility of publishers, heads of associations and official institutions, but also the duty of every educated person and every writer and reader who belongs to this country and who wants to see it develop,” Sheikha Bodour added.