The next annual Doha International Book Fair will be held at a new venue, said Abdullah Al Ansari, Director of General Libraries Department at the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage. Next year, the fair will be held either at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) or at the new exhibition centre located beside City Centre Doha, Al Ansari, who was also the director of the book fair, told QNA yesterday. “This move will solve parking and other problems and boost the growing number of visitors,” he said. He claimed that around 500,000 people visited this year’s book fair, 25 percent of whom were students. The eleven-day fair witnessed more visitors on Thursdays and Fridays, he said. Talking about lack of parking space for visitors, he said: “This was due to road and excavation works and was beyond the control of organisers of the expo,” adding they were taking into consideration all the feedback to improve the next edition of the fair. The timing of this year’s fair was better because it did not coincide with examinations in Independent schools and with year-end celebrations in expatriate schools, he said. He denied there was price hike at this year’s fair saying as with other commodities, prices of books are increasing every year. On their part, the booksellers had to cover expenses including cost of shipment, hotel accommodation and stall charges, he explained. The schedule of the 25th edition of the fair will be from December 3 to 13, 2014 and Brazil will be the guest of honour, he revealed. Like this year, the next edition of the fair is set to witness a wide range of international activities including a visit of a Nobel laureate in literature. The Cultural Ministry, Al Ansari said, would coordinate with Brazil Embassy to host world-famous writer Paulo Coelho whose international bestseller The Alchemist was translated into more than 60 languages and sold 150m copies worldwide. With the UK as the guest of honour, this year’s fair saw 360 publishers from 29 Arab and non-Arab countries and 790 stalls. The focus of this year’s fair was on children’s literature, Qatari heritage and poetry. http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/news/qatar/264535/new-venue-for-book-fair-next-year
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