Under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and under the theme “Doha, A City of Knowledge and Conscience”, the 29th edition of the Doha International Book Fair will be held from November 29 to December 8, 2018 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center with the participation of 427 publishing houses of 30 Arab and other countries.
The Doha International Book Fair will open its doors to the public from 9am to 9pm, except Thursday, from 9am to 10pm, and Friday from 4pm to 10pm.
H.E. Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports announced the details of the book fair in a press conference on 25 November at Sheraton Hotel.
The minister started his speech by giving a historical background on the importance of books and knowledge in Qatar. He illuminated that before 133 years, books had existed in Qatar and despite the difficulties, late Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed bin Thani would insist on distributing books not only to Qatari people but throughout the whole Arab region.
H.E. Al-Ali announced the start of the renovation of the Qatari Book House that is the oldest public library in the Gulf region, established in 1962. The Book House, is an archeological building and is a cultural inspiration for researchers.
Mr. Jassem al-Buainain, director, Doha International Book Fair announced that Russia would attend the 29th Doha International Book Fair As Guest Country in the framework of the cultural year “Qatar-Russia 2018”.
The exhibition, is organised by the Qatar Cultural and Heritage Center of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and , is located on an area of 29,000sqm, that is the largest space since its inception in 1972. “The number of pavilions is 975 suites, with an increase of 215 suites from last year, while the number of registered books is over 121,900, with special attention to children’s books,” Mr. al-Bouainain stated.
A huge number of services and facilities will be provided for visitors.; i.e. information desks and volunteers under the name ‘ Ask me’ will be there to answer visitors’ queries. There will be cultural Cafes, media facilities, prayer areas as well free car parking.
The website of the Doha International Book Fair (https: ///29.dohabookfair.qa/) has also been launched. It offers the possibility of searching the books’ titles, lectures, seminars and workshops taking place in the exhibition as well as a map to facilitate localizing the participating publishing houses.
Answering questions of media professionals, The minister stressed that since 2016, the ministry of culture and sports has intensified its support to private publishers who have reached the number 7 in Qatar. Important to note that the Qatari publishing houses will be discharged from paying the exhibition fees this year.
He explained that even though the book fair coincides with the schools examinations, he does not expect that this will affect the number of visitors.
On the censorship of books participating in the exhibition, the minister said, “We resort to the publications law in Qatar. We informed the publishing houses of this law, which includes preserving the values and principles of the Qatari culture, without prejudice to beliefs, incitement to hatred or violence, which is unacceptable in most countries of the world.”
H.E. Al-Ali encourages all visitors to take notes and denounce any inappropriate books’ content. In addition, remarks and constructive critical statements about the organization or services of the book fair will be welcome.