Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, the Chairperson of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), officially launched this year’s ‘Big Bad Wolf – Sharjah,’ the largest book sale in the world. The event, held in collaboration with Big Bad Wolf Ventures Sdn. Bhd., takes place at the Expo Centre Sharjah from December 19 to January 7.
Following the opening ceremony, attended by HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, CEO of SBA, Andrew Yap, the co-founder and managing director of Big Bad Wolf, Marwa Al Aqroubi, Executive Director of House of Wisdom, Mansour Al Hassani, Director of Publisher Services at the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and Acting Director of SPC Free Zone (SPCFZ), Khoula Al Mujaini, Director of Fairs and Festivals at SBA, Eman Bushlaibi, Director of Sharjah Public Libraries, Mariam Al-Obaidli, Managing Director of Kalimat Group, Tamer Said, Director of Sharjah Literary Agency and other notable figures, Sheikha Bodour toured the exhibition where she met with publishers and exhibitors, exploring the wide variety of publications on display.
Promoting culture, respect, and values
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi commented on the launch and highlighted the event’s cultural significance, saying, “Strengthening cultural diversity and enriching Arab culture with knowledge and creative works from different cultures is a central mission of Sharjah’s cultural project as well as SBA’s directive. Our annual event agenda is packed with international activities that attract content creators and writers from around the world. This stems from our belief that cultural exchange between nations is the most effective way to promote dialogue, understanding, and respect for shared human values.”
“Under the patronage and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and the Ruler of Sharjah, this event embodies the emirate’s dedication to becoming a focal point for human culture. We aim to commemorate intellectual creativity that contributes to the well-being of communities, enhancing the imagination and refining the taste of individuals at every conceivable opportunity. Boasting a collection of over a million books, this event brings a wealth of ideas, visions, and aspirations to readers in Sharjah and the wider UAE, establishing the exchange of ideas as a gateway to shared life experiences and the promotion of cherished values,” she added.
A diverse range of books for everyone
Covering an immersive area of 4,000 sqm, the market features over 1 million books across various genres, from children’s literature to science, history, and philosophy. The major literary event offers these books at up to 85% discounts, making literature more accessible and affordable to all.
This event, established in 2019, is the fruit of the partnership between the SBA and Big Bad Wolf Ventures Sdn. Bhd. Through such partnerships, the authority reinforces its commitment to supporting publishers and offering diverse reading choices in Sharjah, the UAE, and the region.
Elevating reading standards regionally and globally
Speaking at the event, HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, CEO of SBA said, “Enabling readers to readily access sources of knowledge and learning aligns with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and the Ruler of Sharjah, for the emirate to serve as a nurturing ground for the Arab cultural project and a gateway to global cultures. The hosting of ‘Big Bad Wolf’ in Sharjah is part of SBA’s central role in championing initiatives aimed at elevating reading standards regionally and globally. This event contributes to the advancement of publishers, contributing to, and revitalizing the book industry on both local and global scales.”
He added, “Sharjah has become a focal point and a source of aspiration for readers and those working in the book industry worldwide. Today, we offer them an opportunity to explore the latest and most important global releases, enriching their libraries and minds and strengthening their knowledge, which forms the bonds of relationship between them and their communities. This exhibition is among the most important global book fairs specialized in selling books at discounted prices, and our partnership reflects the significant role of the SBA in elevating the global cultural landscape and, at the same time, strengthening the authority’s status as a window and destination for Arab culture.”
Launched in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2009, the Big Bad Wolf book fair aims to foster reading habits and enhance writing skills globally. It seeks to cultivate a new generation of readers by making books affordable. Since its inception, the fair has expanded to 37 cities in 14 countries as well as launching online book sales in 2020.