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The Riyadh International Book Fair 2017 opened its doors on March 8, featuring 550 local, Arab and international publishers.
The fair, one of the largest in the Arab world in terms of the visitor numbers and sales, selected Malaysia as the Guest of Honour in recognition of the distinguished ties between the two countries. The event will highlight Malaysia’s rich culture and distinctive Saudi-Malaysia relations.
Running until March 18, the book fair is being held under the theme ‘The Book: Vision and Transformation’ at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
This year’s edition includes new initiatives offered for the first time to serve publishers, authors and readers, such as e-Bookstore and the barcode system, which supports sale and pricing processes. Other new services include the issuance of permits for publishing and distributing books electronically to encourage the writing and publishing movement.
As part of the fair’s continued modernisation and development, there is a move towards more publishing houses participating but fewer government bodies and organisations.
The event allows a broad presence of GCC countries, and assesses publishers according to a set of specified criteria which may determine their participation in the upcoming years. These include the volume of sold books, their prominence at the fair, and the number of visitors to the publishing house stands.