SIBF 2018: SBA inks MoU with MCKD to support publishing in UAE

06:01 PM | 4 Nov, 2018
SIBF 2018: SBA inks MoU with MCKD to support publishing in UAE
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SHARJAH - The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development (MCKD) and Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), on the sidelines of the ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2018).

The MoU will facilitate collaboration between the two entities who will work together to promote all cultural fields, benefit authors and publishers, and elevate the publishing landscape in the UAE.

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; and HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA signed the MoU.

According to the Understanding, the MCKD will allocate an employee to provide SBA with the procedures aimed at making the most of the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) service. The new service offers 50 ISBNs to each publishing house based at the SPC every year, as long as the publishers are committed to printing and validating the ISBN according to the procedures set up by the Ministry. The publishing services delivered by MCKD will also be linked electronically to the SBA to ensure the provision of facilitation.

Through the MoU, both entities are furthering their commitment to invest in the UAE’s publishing sector and other creative industries through an array of projects. They will also cooperate to develop an integrated database featuring the local and international SPC-based businesses. They will study the realities of the publishing sector, and share researches, recommendations, and proposals that will contribute to elevating this sector.

In line with the dedication of both these local cultural entities to increase people’s access to books and promoting reading, they will offer more support to the UAE-based libraries and bookstores, and further the promotion of Emirati culture at regional and international forums. Both entities will develop plans to enrich libraries with quality print and eBooks. They will also form an executive committee who will hold periodic progress assessment meetings.

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said: “This partnership will further strengthen the publishing industry in the UAE and enhance the efforts of Emirati publishers to contribute to the cultural development”.

Al Kaabi also expressed her gratitude towards the efforts of the Emirate of Sharjah, led by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, for their multitude of culture initiatives that have consistently positioned the UAE as a global destination for publishers, writers and intellectuals.”

For his part, Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, said: “This MoU brings us closer to our longstanding cultural ally, the MKCD. It has transformed a part of the vision His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of Ruler of Sharjah, holds for the nation’s cultural development by strengthening our publishing industry and more visibility of our rich culture on important forums in the region and around the world.”

“We are excited to add more knowledge and enriching materials in our local libraries, strengthen our support to local and regional publishers, and help further streamline essential publishing services to them through the Sharjah Publishing City, which is not just the first-of-its-kind free zone in the world for this industry, but a reinforcement of Sharjah’s commitment to see the written word flourish and fuel our knowledge-based economy,” he added.

Established in 2014, SBA is dedicated to encourage investments in creative industries and offer a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people from different countries and cultures. Entrusted with emphasizing the significant role of writers and their influence in spreading awareness of technological advancement and the availability of various sources of knowledge, SBA aims to attract relevant bodies and figures operating in the cultural sector in general and the publishing, printing, and translation of books in particular, with a special focus on literature for children.

Sharjah Publishing City was established in 2017 as the world’s very first publishing and printing free zone offering those in the book industry the opportunity to capitalize on an array of benefits emerging from operating within a free zone environment. Further benefits also include the ideal location, at the epicenter of the globe with all the advantages of having the MENA, African, European and Asian region’s marketplace at hand.