Muscat: The 24th Muscat International Book Fair will be open to public starting 21 February, 2019, the Ministry of Information has announced.
According to officials, the book fair will take place at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre from 21 February to 2 March, 2019.
His Excellency Dr Abdul Monim bin Mansour Al Hassani, Minister of Information announced details regarding the international book fair at a press conference.
According to Al Hassani, “The opening ceremony of the Book Fair will take place on Wednesday, 20 February, 2019 at 7 pm.”
The ceremony will be held under the patronage of His Excellency Ahmed Al Mehrazi, Minister of Tourism.
The Minister added, "882 publishing houses from 30 countries will be participating in the exhibition. For the first time, China, Canada, Sri Lanka and Bulgaria will all attend [the event]."
Al Hassani said, “An Omani Company has been chosen to implement an optional service to process payments electronically at the fair.”
This edition of the book fair will see a total of 523,000 books on display, 35 per cent of which are new publications. Various bodies related to the book industry will be participating and authors will be there for book-signing sessions.
Four integrated halls have been allocated for cultural events, in addition to a large corner allotted for children's activities. Apart from that, there will also be a number of traditional Omani cafes at the exhibition.
Talking about the global ranking that the annual exhibition achieved, Al Hassani said, "At the GCC level, Muscat International Book Fair was ranked among the top three exhibitions according to the Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council. At the Arab level according to the Arab Publishers Union, Muscat International Exhibition has been ranked second among the best exhibitions in terms of individual purchasing power, public interest, and facilities for participants.
"According to the Arab Publishers Union, at the global level the book fair ranks prominently in terms of the quality of activities and events directed towards various community segments, specifically family and child programmes," he added.
"Additionally, the book fair is classified as one of the exhibitions that support the movement of publishing and distribution around the world,” Al Hassani said.
This year's book fair will include restaurants, prayer rooms, health clinics, postal and transport services and bank service.