Saudi Arabia’s second book fair of the year attracts thousands, just a week after Jeddah’s record 475,000 turnout

Given the Jeddah International Book Fair ran from December 26 through January 5, we can only attribute five days worth of the 475,000 visitors to the 2019 book fair count, but even so we’re looking at about a quarter million booklovers descending on an Arab book fair so far in 2019, and we’re still less Read More …

475,000 attended Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah International Book Fair. The Arab Renaissance continues

When it comes to judging the potential of the so-called nascent book markets, attendance at book fairs and festivals is a good barometer. First we have to divest ourselves of the idea that national and international book fairs all take the form of the celebrated western book fairs like Frankfurt, London and New York, which Read More …

Final preparations underway for Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah International Book Fair. 500,000 expected

Prince Mishal Bin Majed, governor of Jeddah and head of the supreme committee for Jeddah International Book Fair, has been inspecting the book fair arrangements as the final days count down to the official launch on Wednesday. Running December 26 through January 5, the fourth incarnation of the eleven day book fair in South Obhur Read More …

As Netflix launches its first Arab content, and the Riyadh Book Fair and the Saudi Comic Con loom, is Saudi Arabia’s publishing industry worth $1.3 bn?

The president of the Saudi Publishers Association, Ahmed Al Hamdan, this week valued the Saudi Arabian publishing industry at 5 billion SAR ($1.3 billion), but just what that valuation entails remains unclear. In an exclusive interview with the Saudi business daily Al Eqtisadiah (The Economy), Al Hamdan said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia “ranked #1 in Read More …

 The “ever-growing demand for new titles and publications” in Saudi Arabia

This week two of the world’s biggest book fairs and the world’s longest book fair are happening simultaneously. The Kolkata International Book Fair in India and the Cairo International Book Fair in Egypt are the two of the biggest, while the Ekushey Boi Mela in Bangladesh is “the biggest gathering of Bangladesh citizens anywhere in Read More …

Days before the Jeddah Book Fair, Saudi Arabia legalises cinemas after 35 years of draconian arts suppression

This has been rumoured for some while, so not really a surprise – many new commercial developments have had cinemas built already, in anticipation of this move – but a very welcome sign that Saudi Arabia is finally leaving behind its more draconian laws and allowing the arts to, if not yet flourish, at least Read More …