Taking place at Al Amwaj, InterContinental, in Dubai Festival City, Event No. 110 on Thursday 6 February will be a keynote speech by IPA Vice President Bodour Al Qasimi fronting a discussion on how to set up a data-tracking system for the Arab book markets.

Titled, Book Tracking – the Next Big Step for Arab Publishing, the debate will be presented by the Emirates Publishers Association, with Iman Ben Chaibah, Isobel Abulhoul and Jamal Al Shehhi discussing ways forward for Arab publishing.

Without an effective, shared means of knowing where and when their books are bought, can publishers fully understand the regional market and plan for the future? It’s time to talk about why a cross-border book tracking system would be a crucial commercial tool to raise the game for publishers, booksellers and writers. Led by the Emirates Publishers Association, professionals from across the industry examine the case for action.

The debate has ramifications beyond the UAE and beyond the Arab markets.

Right now there are few mechanisms in place even within individual Arab countries to track book sales – something publishers in western countries have long since taken for granted.

But in a potential unified single-language market place like Arabic-speaking MENA  the challenges are that much more daunting, but the rewards potentially that much more rewarding.

Given Al Qasimi’s pivotal role in the IPA in championing the emerging markets globally we can expect any ideas and propositions emerging from Dubai to have far-reaching implications for other parts of the world, and especially Africa, where the same problems of almost non-existent data tracking prevent publishers and retailers alike from developing a coherent development strategy.

Follow Bodour Al Qasimi on twitter: @Bodour

Follow the Emirates Airlines Literature Festival on twitter: @EmiratesLitFest

Follow the Emirates Publishing Association on twitter: @epa_publishers

Other TNPS coverage of the Emirates Publishers Association, Emirates Airlines, and Bodour Al Qasimi includes: