Family Fun at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Traditionally Bound Book with Leather Cover

This weekend the family and I visited the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. It was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) and ran from 24-29 April. It was the largest book fair I’ve ever attended and I found it to be a well organized and impressive event.

The fair spanned four exhibition halls and offered everything from books to literary technology to fun stations for kids. We thoroughly enjoyed being carried away to other countries as we visited the different booths. There were book publishers and vendors from all over the world offering guests texts in any language imaginable.

Selling books was not the only function of this event. There were resources available that pertained to all aspects of literature. The booth that featured traditional book binding was my favorite exhibition of the day. In the booth, there was a display case which contained ancient texts in traditional binding. Fair goers also had the opportunity to see leather book covers being pressed with gold leafing and then manually bound by a professional book binder. Traditional book binding was cool to witness. Check it out for yourself by watching the clip below.

Other notable exhibitions include the Heritage Village and the Illustrator’s Corner. The Heritage Village was comprised of several historical scenes, a display of a traditional wooden dhow and two replicas of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque; one on a raised platform for guests to walk through and the other encased in a glass display case. The Illustrator’s Corner was as vibrant and colorful as the name implies. The platform space was divided into separate work areas that resembled loft spaces for each artist. The work areas were equipped with drafting tables and hydraulic chairs. Many of the artists had affixed drawings completed during the fair to the walls of their respective work spaces. Some children book illustrators were visited by guests and others could be seen drawing quietly by themselves.


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The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair was a great way to spend a Friday evening with the family. There was something for all ages and I personally love when an educational event packs a little fun too. If you missed it this year, plan ahead. The 23rd Abu Dhabi National Book Fair is scheduled for 19-24 March 2014. See more photos from this year’s event on our Facebook page, here.

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