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Logos Hope; world-renowned floating book fair

The Logos Hope project first launched in 2004 and its motto is “sharing knowledge, help and hope”. Since its launch, it has visited over 130 ports in 76 countries, staying for a number of weeks in each destination. The ship was originally built in 1973 in Germany, where it served as a cargo ship for 10 years. In 1983 it was sold to a ferry company in the Danish Faroe Islands to transport passengers and goods between Iceland and Norway, until it was sold in March 2004 to Good Books For All, a German charitable company that owns a number of floating book fairs that tour various ports around the world. The book fair opens daily, and closes late, giving those eager to read and discover new books plenty of time and opportunity to learn more and explore the shelves.

The ship, which has 5,000 titles on board and sets sail from Basra, Iraq, will visit three ports around the Emirates. It will dock at Ras Al Khaimah Port between April 11 and 16, before making its way to Dubai’s Port Rashid from April 18 to 23 and finally Abu Dhabi’s Cruise Terminal at Marsa Mina, Port Zayed, from May 17 to June 5.

The boat is free to board and houses books spanning different genres and subjects, including science, sports, cookery, arts, medicine, languages and faith, along with children’s titles, academic texts, dictionaries and atlases.

The book fair last visited Dubai in 2011, and organisers are planning a special return to Port Rashid with an opening ceremony.

There will be a speech from Logos Hope captain, Ionut Vlad from Romania, who lives on board with his family, before a cultural performance and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Events will also take place on board, including a children’s play, a treasure hunt, performances from international artists and an arts fair. Tickets for the events can be purchased on board.

Visitors can learn about the history of the Logos Hope through a short video and interactive displays in the welcome centre, and visit the cafe on board. This year the seven countries Logos Hope has already docked in include Lebanon and Egypt, where the boat was docked at Port Said and welcomed more than 65,000 visitors in its first 10 days. Logos Hope then went on to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti and Iraq.

The ship remains in each port for several weeks and opens the gangways to thousands of visitors each day. An average of one million visitors have been welcomed on board of the ship every year. With its team from 60 different nationalities, the Logos Hope community is considered a genuine expression of international goodwill and understanding.

The crew and staff are all volunteers, including many serving in their professional capacity, such as seafarers, engineers, electricians, nurses, teachers and cooks.

Sponsorship from friends, family members and civil organisations enables crewmembers to serve on board.

Visitors often express surprise that people from so many different cultures can live and work together peacefully in such a small space.

The floating book fair will then be in Manama, Doha, Muscat and Salalah during June, July and August.