- In the last 10 years, the UAE’s publishing market has expanded to $233 million
(AED 857 million)
- The UAE’s success attributed to strict adherence to international publishing ethics and intellectual property and copyright laws
- Local market has benefited directly from the UAE’s openness to diverse publishing experiences globally
- Local publishers have been offered great opportunities for exposure and learning
Sao Paulo, August 5, 2018
The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) has introduced publishers, authors, and key cultural entities in Brazil and Latin America to key factors, which have contributed to placing the UAE’s local publishing industry at the forefront of the Arab publishing scene and consolidate its stature in the global publishing landscape.
This was done at a session organised by the EPA yesterday (Saturday), and titled ‘Success of The UAE Publishing Market around the World’, at the on-going edition of the Sao Paulo International Book Fair, which is celebrating Sharjah as its first-ever guest of honour.
Panelists Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director of EPA; Dr Alyazia Khalifa, Founder of Al Fulk Publishing; and Mohammad Bin Dakheen Al Matroushi, Founder of Imagination for Publishing and Distribution and EPA Treasurer and Board Member, highlighted the UAE’s openness to diverse publishing experiences around the world, with a special focus on the Brazilian market.
They noted ways in which this openness can be leveraged to develop action plans and programmes as well as set new benchmarks – strategies that have helped advance the Emirati publishing industry immensely, strengthen its presence on the global stage and enhance cultural exchange with other countries in the world.
Speakers stressed that the uniqueness of the UAE’s publishing market globally is attributed to many factors, including adherence to international publishing ethics and intellectual property and copyright laws. They noted that EPA’s strong association with international bodies and organisations dedicated to publishing ethics, notably the Arab Publishers Association and the International Publishers Association, is also among reasons behind the success of the UAE’s publishing industry.
Highlighting the key characteristics of the Emirati publishing sector, speakers underlined that in the last 10 years, the UAE’s publishing market has expanded to $233 million (AED 857 million) to meet the needs of readers and the increasing number of authors. This growth signals the dynamic cultural movement in the country.
Speakers illustrated that the local market has benefited directly from the country’s openness to international publishing opportunities and prospects for cooperation with various global publishing experiences through a series of initiatives that aim to share expertise with industry leaders and professionals worldwide.
Panelists referred to ongoing efforts, which aim to support local publishers and encourage them to participate in international cultural events to share experiences and expertise. Local publishers have been offered great exposure to others’ experiences in publishing management, opportunities to learn latest methods of marketing and publishing, as well as other skills to develop their investment in the book industry.
Speakers highlighted aspects of the UAE’s governance of the local publishing industry that it has in common with several countries, including Brazil. These include their commitment to intellectual property rights, supplementing publishing professionals with essential services like terms of customs procedures, export, shipping movement, etc. They also highlighted the UAE’s efforts to overcome obstacles of domestic censorship, creating a remarkable model for publishing in the Arab region and the Middle East.
Panelists threw light on EPA’s pivotal role in supporting the success of their local publishing industry, citing the initiatives it has launched with regards to laws governing the local publishing market, including the establishment of a service office (One – stop shop) in its headquarters, so publishers can tackle these formalities in one place. It has also established a legal office in collaboration with a law firm to familiarise authors with their rights and those of publishers, and offer them legal aid when needed.
Speaking on EPA’s role in supporting publishing ethics and laws, Rashid Al Kous said: “EPA works on regulating the profession of publishing in collaboration with different bodies like the National Media Council and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development. EPA leads efforts to advance the Emirati publishing sector by raising the awareness of the industry stakeholders about the need to abide by publishing standards and regulations.”
Al Kous noted that EPA’s member publishers as well as authors need to abide by laws and regulations that govern publishing because EPA has crafted them in equal consideration of the rights and legal requirements of both parties.
“EPA is dedicated to protecting both intellectual property and copyrights, and keeping them up to date with international best practices,” he added.
Speaking about the uniqueness of the UAE’s experience and its role in promoting cultural exchange around the world, particularly in Brazil and Latin America, Al Kous said: “The UAE’s cultural experience is characterised by its openness to world cultures, contributing to building human knowledge assets that reinforce its leading position on the global cultural arena.
“The Brazilian experience in publishing and even culturally is one of the most diversified, and we are keen to learn more from it. We are here today to strengthen our cultural ties and exchange experiences that will enrich the intellectual content of both parties.”
For her part, Dr Alyazia Khalifa said: “EPA plays a vital role in supporting local authors and publishers and advancing the publishing industry by facilitating participation of writers and publishers in major cultural events. Among other benefits, this gives them opportunities to gain insights on the best international practices in copyrights.
“The Sao Paulo International Book Fair is a premier literary extravaganza that opens a window to the Brazilian and Latin literature, and is a major global forum for literati, authors, intellectuals and publishers to network and share expertise. The fair is a great platform for Emirati publishers to forge partnerships with their counterparts, and will greatly benefit the Emirati publishing industry.”
Dr Alyazia added: “Our presence in Sao Paulo is a particularly great opportunity for children’s and Young Adult publishers, as they can leverage from the Brazilian experience, which is one of the richest worldwide in these genres.”
Mohammed bin Dakheen Al Matroushi said: “The rules and standards of publishing play an important role in safeguarding the intellectual content of books, especially those targeting young readers. I believe the implementation of these rules judiciously; as is the case in UAE – will fortify the local cultural scene, thanks to EPA for adopting a clear and firm stand in this regard.”
He continued: “Over the past years, EPA has been able to bring about a noticeable change in the local publishing landscape, and has enabled publishers to explore the future of the industry. Our participation in the Sao Paulo book biennial, one of the most prestigious cultural events in South America, bears testament to our success in activating EPA’s strategy, which focuses on advancing the role of local publishers and strengthen their capacities to compete globally.”
Founded in 2009, EPA is dedicated to serving and developing the local publishing sector as well as to advancing the role of Emirati publishers through training and mentoring programmes that help raise their efficiency. EPA represents the interests of professionals in the UAE’s publishing industry by working on advancing their rights and improving the conditions of the profession and its related laws in coordination and cooperation with competent authorities in the UAE and beyond.