Shar­jah Pub­lish­ing City in­au­gu­rated


Gulf News - - Front Page -

Phase one of­fers 40,000sqm space to 550 pub­lish­ers with ca­pac­ity be­ing de­vel­oped to print a mil­lion books daily |

BY FAISAL MASUDI Staff Re­porter S har­jah has be­gun a new chap­ter in its lead­ing po­si­tion as a hub for books, knowl­edge and cul­ture with the launch of Shar­jah Pub­lish­ing City (SPC), a spe­cial zone for hun­dreds of pub­lish­ers and stake­hold­ers in the pub­lish­ing in­dus­try.

His High­ness Dr Shaikh Sul­tan Bin Mo­ham­mad Al Qasimi, Supreme Coun­cil Mem­ber and Ruler of Shar­jah, toured its fa­cil­i­ties af­ter in­au­gu­rat­ing it yes­ter­day.

The ma­jor new project of Shar­jah Book Au­thor­ity (SBA) aims to pro­vide an in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment for pub­lish­ers through “world-class” pub­lish­ing ser­vices that in­clude print­ing, li­cens­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion.

Phase one of the land­mark project, lo­cated near the in­ter­sec­tion of Shaikh Mo­ham­mad Bin Zayed Road and Dhaid Road, opened with room for 550 pub­lish­ers. Fur­ther stages of the project will build ca­pac­ity to print a mil­lion books daily.

The in­au­gu­ra­tion came in the pres­ence of hun­dreds of top of­fi­cials, pub­lish­ers, jour­nal­ists, guests and dig­ni­taries.

A video high­light­ing the strengths of SPC was shown as guests en­joyed the open­ing cer­e­mony and gala din­ner.

Also present were Shaikh Sul­tan Bin Mo­ham­mad Bin Sul­tan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Shar­jah; Shaikh Sul­tan Bin Ah­mad Al Qasimi, chair­per­son of the Shar­jah Me­dia Coun­cil; and other shaikhs.

Mas­sive fa­cil­i­ties

Ex­tend­ing over 40,000 square me­tres, SPC pro­vides 300 fur­nished of­fices for busi­ness own­ers and pub­lish­ers, plus an area of 6,000 square me­tres for in­vestors who wish to cre­ate their own spa­ces.

The city in­cludes more than 20 meet­ing rooms, stores, ser­vice fa­cil­i­ties, a data cen­tre, a pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion branch of the Gen­eral Direc­torate of Res­i­dency and For­eign­ers Af­fairs in Shar­jah, and an ar­ray of other ser­vices that have been tai­lor-made for pub­lish­ers.

Ah­mad Al Ameri, chair­man of SBA, gave a brief about the city and its ser­vices. SPC is also home to a data cen­tre plat­form con­tain­ing the contents of 16 mil­lion books in dif­fer­ent lan­guages in a for­mat that pub­lish­ers can eas­ily re­print, up­date and mod­ify.

Shaikh Sul­tan also wit­nessed two sign­ing cer­e­monies dur­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion - the first be­tween SBA and the Arab Writ­ers Union (AWU), which stip­u­lates the es­tab­lish­ment of a new AWU head­quar­ters at SPC; and the sec­ond be­tween SBA and the Emi­rates Writ­ers Union (EWA), which pro­vides for the trans­la­tion of the works of 40 Emi­rati EWA authors from Ara­bic into English, French and Brazil­ian.

Mag­a­zine launched

Shaikh Sul­tan also wit­nessed the launch of Pub­lish­ers Weekly

Ara­bic Mag­a­zine, which is be­ing is­sued by SBA in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Pub­lish­ers Weekly, a jour­nal that fo­cuses on the book in­dus­try, read­ers, crit­ics, the pub­li­ca­tion of new ti­tles and dis­tri­bu­tion.

“The es­tab­lish­ment of Shar­jah Pub­lish­ing City is a vi­brant man­i­fes­ta­tion of the vi­sion of His High­ness Dr Shaikh Sul­tan Bin Mo­ham­mad Al Qasimi, who four decades ago un­der­scored that books are knowl­edge me­di­a­tors that bring to­gether the world’s cul­tures.

“His High­ness per­fectly un­der­stood that books open a win­dow for di­a­logue and com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween all na­tions and that a city ded­i­cated to the sec­tor would be a driv­ing force for the book mar­ket in the Arab re­gion,” said Al Ameri.

“SPC pro­vides an in­valu­able op­por­tu­nity for pub­lish­ers and for book in­dus­try stake­hold­ers as it is a mul­ti­a­menity base from which they can de­velop and ex­pand their busi­nesses. It ad­dresses the needs of all pub­lish­ing in­sti­tu­tions and firms in terms of li­cens­ing, print­ing, dis­tri­bu­tion and trans­port.

“It also cap­i­talises on Shar­jah’s strate­gic lo­ca­tion, its con­nec­tion to the world by Shar­jah In­ter­na­tional Air­port — as well as through its ports - and the ar­ray of fa­cil­i­ties the emi­rate pro­vides in­vestors from around the world.”

Al Ameri added that SPC has re­ceived ap­pli­ca­tions from more than 150 bod­ies in the pub­lish­ing sec­tor. He said that SPC rep­re­sents “a fun­da­men­tal par­a­digm shift in the pub­lish­ing in­dus­try and is in line with the vi­sion of the UAE that aims to en­hance its po­si­tion in all sec­tors”.


Op­er­at­ing around the clock, seven days a week, SPC pro­vides in­vestors with nu­mer­ous ben­e­fits, such as the right to own prop­erty ir­re­spec­tive of na­tion­al­ity, free­dom to trans­fer cap­i­tal, tax-free priv­i­leges for cor­po­ra­tions and in­di­vid­u­als, taxfree im­port and ex­port and re­duced costs on labour, en­ergy, print­ing and lo­gis­tics.

SPC is home to many pub­lish­ing sec­tor en­ti­ties, in­clud­ing trans­la­tion agen­cies, lit­er­ary and lin­guis­tic edit­ing of­fices and graphic de­sign com­pa­nies. It fea­tures a ded­i­cated of­fice to ex­pe­dite li­cens­ing.

The emi­rate was named Arab Cul­ture Cap­i­tal in 1998 and was awarded the ti­tle World Book Cap­i­tal 2019 by Unesco (United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­gan­i­sa­tion) ear­lier this year.


Dr Shaikh Sul­tan launches Shar­jah Pub­lish­ing City yes­ter­day. Shaikh Sul­tan Bin Mo­ham­mad Bin Sul­tan Al Qasimi, other shaikhs and of­fi­cials were present dur­ing the cer­e­mony.

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