The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), which runs November 2-12, drew 1.35 million visitors in its first week, a record turnout according to fair officials.

Over 1,680 publishers from 60 countries attended at the 35th edition of the fair, where the theme is “Read More.” Indeed, Sharjah has used the fair to increase literacy, something that appears to be working.

“SIBF’s overwhelming success in attracting such huge audiences each and every day is a testament to the incredible efforts made by Sharjah in the cultural and literary sphere over the past 35 years,” said HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, which organizes the annual event.

He continued: “We are delighted to have been able to play a leading role in creating and nurturing a generation of readers and literary fans and to have been a major part of the initiatives led by the UAE which are designed to enhance reading and knowledge at all levels.”

During its 11-day run, SIBF held 1,417 activities at Expo Centre Sharjah, with popular attractions including its Cultural Activities program, Cultural Café, Cookery Corner and Social Media Café.

An event with an American presence was the third joint conference between SIBF and the American Library Association. The event ran from November 8-10 and addressed such topics as trends in the library sector, technology and digital content, services and marketing, and developing professional librarians.