Sheikha Bodour calls for stakeholder interconnectedness collaboration at 3rd Intel Booksellers Conference

Organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), the conference has welcomed more than 550 publishers, distributors, and booksellers from 76 countries

08:45 PM | 27 Apr, 2024
Sheikha Bodour calls for stakeholder interconnectedness collaboration at 3rd Intel Booksellers Conference

SHARJAH - Over 550 professionals were welcomed to the 3rd annual Sharjah International Booksellers Conference on Saturday, April 27. Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), urged publishers, distributors, and booksellers to remain interconnected as the industry tackles rapid technological shifts, changing consumer preferences, intense online competition, and economic pressures.

In her opening remarks for the 2-day conference, Sheikha Bodour stated, "The remarkable success of this conference, despite its young age, speaks volumes about the necessity for specialized platforms where we can come together, listen to each other, and shape a vision for the future."

The international conference has attracted professionals from around the world, and the SBA Chairperson affirmed Sharjah's commitment to advancing the global book industry, including bookselling, publishing, distribution, and beyond. "Look around you," she said, "this conference is a microcosm of global collaboration, featuring professionals from Africa, the Arab region, Asia, South America, and Europe. This diversity propels our industry forward, igniting innovation and fostering growth."

 After inaugurating the third edition of the conference, Sheikha Bodour toured the conference’s distributor and publisher pavilions, where she engaged with participants, exploring their initiatives in expanding book distribution, and actively listened to their insights on the current challenges within the publishing and distribution industries. She expressed the importance of collaborative platforms such as the booksellers' conference, which can unite industry professionals, allow idea exchange and diverse viewpoints, and develop a collective vision for the future.

 550 publishers, distributors, and booksellers from 76 countries

The International Booksellers Conference, organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), has welcomed more than 550 publishers, distributors, and booksellers from 76 countries, including three new participants from Cambodia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The two-day event features 30 esteemed speakers and 30 pavilions and platforms. It had a productive and inspiring first day, reaffirming its position as a pivotal event in the regional and global publishing calendar.

 A diverse agenda for members of the publishing industry

The first day of the conference was filled with informative workshops and roundtables from morning to evening, covering a wide range of topics such as bookstores in shopping malls, bookstore partnerships, social media strategies, a collaboration between distributors, publishers, and bookstores, Europe’s Kultur Pass, community engagement, curating and selling graphic novels, and selling books outside of one’s shop.

 One topic of particular interest was the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the book industry, where discussions acknowledged the challenges through generative content and the potential of AI to streamline operations, deepen understanding of reader preferences, and maintain a competitive edge.

 Embracing change and adapting to new trends

In another riveting discussion with Andrea Giunti, Executive Vice-President of Giunti Editore, an Italian publishing house renowned for its Giunti Bookstores, the industry leader shared his insights into the booksellers industry. In conversation with Porter Anderson, Giunti emphasised the need for booksellers to stay relevant but said the sector remains robust. He also expressed his appreciation for gatherings such as the Sharjah Booksellers Conference.

 “It’s an honour to be here in Sharjah, and it’s truly heartwarming to see such a gathering that brings booksellers and publishers together. I must thank Sharjah Book Authority for this opportunity to be here today. From our first bookstore in 1497 to today, with our 267 stores around Italy, we are deeply ingrained within the culture of reading in Italy. I am happy to experience another book-loving culture that is obvious here in Sharjah. Although there have been challenges in the industry, the tangible and digital formats of the written word are alive and well, as demonstrated by the over 23 million books our company shipped last year alone,” Giunti stated.

 Empowering women in the publishing industry

Publisher, an organisation that supports and uplifts women in the publishing industry, was a prominent participant at the conference and hosted various engaging activities to empower female professionals in attendance.

 On the main stage, a significant highlight of the day was a discussion with Dr Raja Al Gurg, Chairperson and Managing Director at the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group and successful author. The conversation focused on women's empowerment and leadership, providing valuable insights and recommendations for fostering gender equality and promoting the advancement of women in various industries, including publishing.

The dedicated PublisHer Lounge at the conference provided attendees with comprehensive opportunities, including one-on-one mentorship sessions with industry leaders like Sarah Arbuthnot, Nadia Wassef, and Sandra Tamele, offering valuable guidance for career growth. Additionally, a career lab workshop conducted by Diala Jarrar focused on optimising LinkedIn profiles for career advancement. At the same time, a session hosted by Eleni Papailia offered tools and guidance for building personal brands and networking strategies. Attendees also had the chance to get styled with Heidi Shara Armstrong and Celia-Jane Ukwenya, in addition to having professional headshots taken by Danka Holzerova, ensuring they had high-quality images for their professional profiles.

A successful opening day

The first day of the Sharjah International Booksellers Conference concluded with a networking session, allowing attendees to engage with colleagues from diverse markets, share unique perspectives, and learn from each other's experiences. The event fostered a collaborative and engaging atmosphere, setting the stage for a productive and insightful conference.

With its third edition in full swing, the Sharjah International Booksellers Conference continues to grow in scale and importance as a platform that brings together industry professionals worldwide to discuss and address the challenges and opportunities in the book industry. The event's focus on collaboration and innovation ensures it remains a vital platform for shaping the future of bookselling and publishing.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk


Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 18 May 2024 Forex Rates

Pakistani currency rates against US Dollar and other currencies on May 18, 2024 (Saturday) in open market.

USD to PKR rate today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.35 for selling.

Euro stands at 297 for buying and 299.5 for selling while British Pound rate is 348.5 for buying, and 352 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.25 and Saudi Riyal came down to 73.50.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 18 May 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.4 280.35
Euro EUR 297 299.5
UK Pound Sterling GBP 348.5 352
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.25 76
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.5 74.25
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 747.77 755.77
Canadian Dollar CAD 203 205
China Yuan CNY 38.49 38.89
Danish Krone DKK 40.25 40.65
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.96 36.31
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 913.28 922.28
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.69 59.29
New Zealand Dollar NZD 169.45 171.45
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.67 25.97
Omani Riyal OMR 730.59 738.59
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.41 77.11
Singapore Dollar SGD 203 205
Swedish Korona SEK 25.67 25.97
Swiss Franc CHF 309.01 311.51
Thai Bhat THB 7.57 7.72


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