The International Book Fair is held every year in March for 10 days in Riyadh. It presents a large number of books, publication in many languages, for all ages, different genres. Many publishing houses participates from all over the world: There are approximately 550 publishing houses participating.
The book fair for this year 2017 is held from the 8th of March to the 18th of March.
School time: 10 am – 12 pm
Visitors: All week 12 pm- 10 pm except Friday 4 pm- 10 pm
You can really find books about everything! Science, Arab culture, Technology, medicine, Islam, cooking, novels AND in different languages: Arabic, English, French, Turkish, Urdu, Spanish… But I wish there was more french books, books that were in French were mostly for kids and not for adult. I think it’s the same regarding the other languages. If you are looking for Arabic books then you might find A LOT!
Please take a look at this website, it can help you locate books in the Riyadh International Book Fair:
Unfortunately, the website is only in Arabic.
There are also many activities, cultural events, seminars and workshop everyday. (Link for the events: http://riyadhbookfair.org.sa/page/7).
There are also a special section dedicated for children. You can find books and edutainment games. Many event are held for entertaining the kids and raise their awareness about reading.
Every year, the Riyadh International Book Fair chooses a country as the guest of honor to have a special pavilion to display its culture and literature. This year 2017 guest of honor is Malaysia. Malaysian books and arts were displayed.
The Riyadh International Book Fair was so crowded but it really didn’t bother us because the place is held is huge! Visiting the Fair at noon is certainly less crowded.
When we were there, one booth caught our eyes: Jamalon. Jamalon is the largest online bookstore in the Middle East, they offer more than 9.5 million titles of Arabic and English books with free worldwide delivery. How cool is this?!
If you are interrested, please check their website :
- Blind Charity Association
Another thing that caught my eyes is the amazing service of helping blind people choosing books and read for them. They are approximately 30 young volunteers that works with the Blind Charity Association.
Dakkah is a youth initiative have participated under the slogan “We do not live to eat”. To show that, they have created a menu with different “dishes” which are represented by books. The goal is to create a “menu” that feeds our mind rather than only our body. They have used a food truck for their booth! How creative is that! I love this idea especially that for the activities here it’s all about food!
In my opinion, this kind of event is very important to give people the motivation to read by offering them a wide selection of books to choose from that they can look at before and decide to buy. For kids, it could be a chance to develop the love for reading that last a lifetime.