Abu Dhabi International Book Fair was first launched in 1981 as the Islamic Book Fair, by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE. Though the Fair’s name has changed, ADIBF’s aim remains the same: to encourage reading and cultural exchange throughout the region, and to transform Abu Dhabi into a major centre of the publishing world. Over nearly forty years, ADIBF has become a driving force behind the development of the region’s publishing industry. 

Today, ADIBF plays host to the world’s leading international publishing houses, as well as the most prominent publishers from the MENA region. The Fair provides a golden opportunity for the two to mingle and do business.

Since the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair’s launch in 1981, the Fair has striven to uphold the original mission of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, the founding father of the UAE.

The Sheikh believed in education and culture as fundamental pillars for building a strong modern state and developing international relationships. Initially named the Islamic Book Fair, the Fair was created to provide a meeting point and marketplace for publishing houses in the Arab world. It was also designed to be a forum through which to grow the region’s publishing industry, expand business activities across the globe and turn Abu Dhabi into a major centre for the publishing world.

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has since gone from strength to strength, today providing an ideal global marketplace and a gateway to the thriving Arab publishing industry. In recent years, the Fair has enjoyed celebrating Abu Dhabi International Book Fair’s and Abu Dhabi’s heritage, with a spotlight on their founder, entitled ‘Sheikh Zayed: Light Illuminates the Future’ – featuring a series of panels and seminars, as well as an exhibition charting his intellectual legacy. Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has also been proud to honour the works of other great Arab thinkers, such as the renowned poet Abu at-Tayyeb Al Mutanabbi and philosopher Ibn Rushed.

Every year, we are thrilled to introduce international visitors to new dimensions of the region’s rich cultural and literary heritage.