The United Arab Emirates had already take the decision to close its nursery schools, but has now closed all schools and universities for a month. Large public events are barred.
That’s put paid to the 2020 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which has now been set for May 2021. It’s not clear yet if the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival in April has been cancelled, but it seems 99.9% certain we’ll see an announcement to that effect in the very near future.
As this post goes live the websites for the Abu Dhabi and Sharjah events have not been updated, but the Abu Dhabi information is on twitter.
The Riyadh and Tehran International Book Fairs in Saudi Arabia and Iran are now certain to be cancelled, and from the TNPS at-risk list from March 2 – Belgium’s Brussels Book Fair, Poland’s Poznan Book Fair, Turkey’s Bursa Book Fair, Germany’s Leipzig Book Fair, Thailand’s Bangkok Book Fair, Turkey’s Izmir Book Fair, Egypt’s Alexandria Book Fair and Canada’s Quebec Book Fair – we’ve already seen Leipzig cancelled.
And that just takes us through to end April.
Global publishing has never faced a year like this, and hopefully never will again.
What a way to start a new decade.