Abu Dhabi reveals details of upcoming Al Dhafra Book Fair

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is organising the 2nd edition of Al Dhafra Book Fair from 25-29 November in Madinat Zayed, Al Dhafra.

At this year’s fair, visitors can look forward to a large and varied selection of books and publications to suit a range of interests. Those interested to learn more about the literature, poetry, and local heritage can participate in a range of events and workshops. The fair’s Cultural Programme will see local authors and intellectuals participate in a host of panel sessions and seminars, while creative interactive activities and workshops for children will be offered in the Creativity Corner and the Illustrators’ and Art Corner.

Abdullah Majed Al Ali, Acting Executive Director of Dar Al Kutub Sector, DCT Abu Dhabi, said: ” In addition to serving as a platform for writers to showcase their latest publications, our aim for the 2nd edition of Al Dhafra Book Fair is to offer a culturally rich and interactive programme, where visitors are given many opportunities to learn from the writers and intellectuals present.  At DCT Abu Dhabi, we look to continually enhance the cultural consciousness of the local community by establishing the importance of reading in our daily lives, and book fairs are crucial in helping us to cultivate this culture of reading.”

The Cultural Programme

A number of seminars and panel sessions will take place over the days of the fair. These include ‘Emirati Folklore and its Impact on the Poem’, conducted by Emirati poet and journalist Hamdan Al Darei, who will discuss the structure of Emirati poetry and how it has been influenced by Emirati folklore, diving deeper into the role that traditions and cultures play in the formation of a poem.

Emirati writer Mohammed Shoaib Al Hammadi will lecture on ‘The Culture of Citizenship and Elevating Community Members’, which will address tensions in the relationship between culture and citizenship and the role that citizenship culture plays within societies.

‘Nabati and Eloquent Poetry, a Pillar of Our Cultural Heritage’ will feature the poet and academic Talal Al Junaibi along with poet Ayedah Bin Masoud. The session will explore the UAE’s cultural heritage based on both types of dimensions of the Emirati classical poem and the Nabati poem.

A seminar led by Isaa Al Shamsi, ‘The Cultural Dimension of Our Environmental Awareness’, will address the close link between the environment and culture, and explore the extent to which environmental awareness is linked to the UAE culture.

Arts Workshops

The fair’s Illustrators’ and Art Corner will offer a number of activities and workshops for young visitors, led by local artists and creatives. These include painting lessons in ‘Shapes and Space’, where participants will learn how to use space and shapes to create a unique image on canvas, and ‘The Spirit of the Union’, which celebrates UAE National Day by teaching kids how to paint their very own UAE Flag. ‘Story Stones’ is a creative session of telling stories through stones decorated using decoupage and paint pens, while in ‘Wooden Bookmarks’, children can make their very own marker to keep their place in their favourite book.  Kids can also help the planet through their flair for art in the ‘Environment-Friendly Crafts’ workshop, which will see participants turn an old plastic bottle into a beautiful fish using colourful paint.

The Creativity Corner

The Creativity Corner offers a series of workshops for children such as ‘Make Your Own Slime!’, a fun activity where children make slime in a variety of colours. Kids will also enjoy the ‘LEGO Robotics’ workshop, where participants have the opportunity to learn how to design and build simple robots using LEGO pieces, and then programme the machines to perform simple tasks. The numerous other workshops include STEM Challenges, design activities to create cities and mazes, and engineering sessions, where kids can learn to build a motor fan and a hydraulic switch

Sessions in the Creativity Corner will also see participation from children’s book authors. Canadian writer Gerald Mercer will take the audience on a wondrous journey through his stories, and also perform a number of musical pieces from his new book, The Others Were Missing. Author Noura Al Khoory will hold a reading of a number of her books that revolve around the UAE and Emirati culture, while Emirati writer Jamal Al Shehhi will host a workshop to teach students the basics of creative writing, discussing his journey in writing Youmeyat Moshagheb (Diary of a Naughty Kid).

Visitors can also enjoy a series of live shows, such as the Lollipop Theatre’s Puss in Boots, a children’s story that covers topics of courage, creativity, determination and loyalty. Kids will also be able to meet their favourite Sesame Street characters as they perform a show about the importance of tolerance.

Al Dhafra Book Fair will take place from 25-29 November at Occasions Hall, Madinat Zayed, Al Dhafra. The fair will be open daily from 9 am to 1 pm, 6 – 10 pm / Friday 5 – 10 pm and entry is free of charge.

For more information, please visit: adbookfair.com

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