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World’s biggest book fair kicks off in Dubai

DUBAI: A gargantuan touring book sale that touts itself as the world’s largest is making its first stop in the Middle East, filling a huge hangar in Dubai with stacks of 3 million discounted books, open round the clock.

Organisers hope to attract as many as 300,000 visitors during 11 days in Dubai. Founder of the event Andrew Yap said he expects the sheer number of books will lure in punters. “In a mature market like Dubai, this will give variety to readers,” he added.

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale, launched in Kuala Lumpur in 2009, has since then regularly toured Asian cities including Jakarta, Manila, Cebu, Colombo, Bangkok and Taipei.

Roudha Al Marri, an Emirati co-author of a guide to life in the UAE ‘UAE 101 Stories and Cultural Learnings: A Guidebook to the Emirati Culture’ whose own book was on sale at the fair, said a city such as Dubai needed such an event to help spur reading among a “tablet generation” preoccupied with screens.

“To hold a book, smell it, will return us to more beautiful days, to throw us into mazes of stories. Every generation needs this,” she said.

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