9.68 million (2019)

Official language




Important ministries

Ministry of Education UAE develop the UAE’s education system and set guidelines for schools.

National Media Council (NMC) is a federal institution of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that promotes and supports all media-related initiatives and activities in the UAE and abroad. They are “always keen on providing continuous support to professionals in the Emirati publishing sector and offering them facilities and services that allow them the opportunity to expose [the country’s literary output] to book markets in the world, so as to enable them to strengthen their presence and publish their publications at exhibitions in the UAE, the region, and the world.” (NMC for Publishing Perspectives, 2019)

Official statistics office
Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) is a UAE federal government research organisation. It is the official source of statistics and monitoring of competitiveness performance in international reports.

Trade association

Emirates Publishers Association

Children’s Book Association

Emirates Library Association

Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) was launched in 2014, by Emiri decree by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, UAE Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. SBA’s mandate includes enhancing investment in creative industries, building a platform for culture and knowledge exchange between people of the world, highlighting the importance of books in today’s multimedia world, and supporting the children’s book industry.

UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that promotes a reading culture among children and young people.

VAT on books

Fixed book price system

Estimated value of the UAE book market is around 1 billion AED (approx. £208 million).
Literacy rate: 93%


Annual book fairs
Abu Dhabi International Book Fair held over 7 days in April/May
Sharjah International Book Fair held over 11 days in October/November
Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival held over 11 days in April
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature held over 9 days in March

Translation programmes
Sharjah International Book Fair set up a grant fund to promote the translation of Arabic text in the region as well as the world

Useful Contacts

British Council
Email: information@ae.britishcouncil.org
Tel: +971 427 50451

Department for International Trade
Email: dit.uae@fco.gov.uk

Sunita Mirchandani, Education
Email: mirchandani@fco.gov.uk

Ranjana Abraham, Creative Industries Lead Adviser
Email: abraham@fco.gov.uk