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The world of Arabic and German publishing at one of the largest book fairs in the Arab region

 Germany will return as Guest of Honour 2022 at this year’s Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (23–29 May 2022) with a 400-sqm stand in Hall 8 B05, which 34 German publishers will use to present their titles and to participate in the programme at the fair. One focus of Germany’s appearance will be an interactive programme for children and young people. Thanks to Goethe VR, a classic of German literature can be experienced virtually at the collective stand. Goethe’s tragedy Faust (Parts I and II) has been adapted for the digital world: equipped with VR goggles and other tools, visitors can actively enter into the story itself.

“This year, Germany and the United Arab Emirates are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations. We have become reliable, important partners for each other. The next 50 years will bring new opportunities – in the cultural, as well as the economic and political spheres. Germany’s selection as this year’s Guest of Honour at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair underscores the depth and the potential of our relations in the cultural realm. Abu Dhabi is known throughout the region for its open-minded, multicultural, intellectual exchange. It’s nice that we can finally meet and converse again in person,” says H.E. Ernst Peter Fischer, the German ambassador in Abu Dhabi.

“We are very pleased to finally be able to present our German Stories programme at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) in person. ADIBF is a relevant annual platform for the international rights and licensing business and for making new contacts in the Arab world. After two years of the pandemic and against the background of the globe’s current political situation, now is an important time for authors and the publishing industry to expand their networks, share personal stories from their own countries and actively shape cultural exchange. We’re very pleased that in a few days, together with our partners, we’ll be presenting a diverse programme at ADIBF and meeting up once again with publishing colleagues from around the world,” says Juergen Boos, president and CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse.

“It’s a great pleasure to be Guest of Honour at the renowned Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. Due to the pandemic, we have even been Guest of Honour for two consecutive years, which has inspired us to put together a special programme. Do you remember our Johann Wolfgang Goethe from last year? The actor in the historical, yellow-and-blue Werther costume is impatiently waiting to greet you so he can invite you to experience an exciting range of books, discussions, films and other events – this year live and in real time. We’re looking forward to welcoming bookworms, students, writers and everyone who loves literature,” says Fareed Majari, director of the Goethe-Institut in the Gulf Region.

Cultural Programme

Taking place at the collective stand, the German Stories programme of events has been planned across five topics: Futurelab, Inspiration, Football, Translation and (Un)certainties. Ten German authors have been invited to participate in the accompanying cultural programme, including Olga Grjasnowa, Pierre Jarawan, Anja von Kampen, Nicol Ljubić, Moritz Rinke and Judith Schalansky, as well as the slam poet Dalibor Marković and the artists of Labor Ateliergemeinschaft Frankfurt: Anke Kuhl, Kirstin Fabinski and Jörg Mühle.

Trade Programme

Also on offer will be a trade programme that addresses issues relevant to the Arab market and that is designed to promote exchange. Among others, publishers and authors Jo Lendle and Nadja Kneissler have confirmed their participation as speakers. The trade programme will also feature matchmaking sessions to help international publishers come together with potential business partners in the Arab world. Information on Germany’s appearance as Guest of Honour and on its programme can be found here:

Supporting Programme at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Visitors to ADIBF will gain valuable insights into the region’s literary scene thanks to events such as the presentation of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, not to mention the fair’s multifaceted cultural and trade programmes. Panel discussions will also shed light on the creative industry in the Middle East.


This year, ADIBF is hosting the first International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries to facilitate interactions between publishers, thought leaders and entrepreneurs. The congress will look at the rapid development of various media in light of the expanding storytelling business. The panel discussions and fireside chats held on the day before the fair’s official opening will examine the newest trends in publishing and technology and the adaptation of books into other formats. The high-profile speakers will include Pulitzer Prize finalist Nicholas Carr (author of The Shallows) and Jonathan Knight, general manager of Games at the New York Times.

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is the body responsible for ADIBF, which was organised and expanded from 2007 to 2013 in cooperation with Frankfurter Buchmesse. Germany has had a pavilion at the fair every year since 2008. ADIBF views itself as a marketplace for content from the Arab world and a forum for key cultural policy issues and debates.


Germany’s appearance at ADIBF is organised by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action in cooperation with the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) and Leipziger Messe International (LMI), and with support from Frankfurter Buchmesse. The Cultural Programme is supported by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office and jointly realised by Frankfurter Buchmesse, the Goethe-Institut in the Gulf Region, and the German Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2022 – German Pavilion (


All information about the German Guest of Honour appearance at ADIBF can be found here. If you would like to learn more about the ADIBF, please download Publishing Perspective's free show magazine