Muscat: Once again, it’s that time of the year when hundreds of publishing houses gather to quench the thirst of book lovers at the Oman Convention and Exhibitions Centre (OCEC). The 23rd Muscat International Book Fair opened on Wednesday and will conclude on March 3, 2018.
Hundreds of book sellers and publishers from the GCC and beyond are participating in the fair, with over 500,000 titles represented by 878 publishers from 28 countries.
Also read: Mwasalat offers free bus service to Muscat book fair
One of the stated objectives of the annual Muscat International Book Fair is to give Arab and foreign publishing houses an opportunity to introduce their institutions and to market their various publications. “I have been participating in the Muscat International Book Fair for the last 22 years. My stall offers a wide range of books, including novels, collections of short stories, children books, as well as dictionaries, which cater to all age groups,” said Hussein Charafeddine, owner of a publishing house in Lebanon.
“I always look forward to this event as the locals are extremely welcoming and the response I receive from the attendees is incredible,” he added.
“This is our third year at the Muscat International Book Fair and so far, every year, we have received wonderful feedback from the audience,” the spokesperson of an Egyptian publishing house said. For those who are planning to take up Japanese as a second language or are die-hard fans of manga books, the Embassy of Japan has installed a booth offering both.
“A wide range of manga books, as well as books on learning the Japanese language have been exhibited by the Japan Foundation,” a spokesperson from the Embassy of Japan said.
“Despite the influence of the Internet, the reading habit is growing in Oman. There has been a growing demand for literature, essays, language books, and non-fiction, which is reflected in the response to our booth at the fair,” he added.
Also, the Oman National Transport Company, Mwasalat, will be providing free trips to and from the book fair.
According to the company, the free services will begin on February 22, 2018, and will go on until March 3. Mwasalat will provide round trips from Burj Al Sahwa bus station to Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre. Buses will be available every 30 minutes, from 9.30am to 10.30pm.