A total of 924 publishing houses from 62 countries participated in the 31st edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), held 7 to 17 November. The award for cultural personality of the year was given to Emirati poet and writer Habib Al Sayegh. The 10 day book fair included a host of events and activities featuring cultural, children’s and culinary programmes as well as the opening professional fair, featuring the translation grant. In the context of the Fair, Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi has donated 4000 rare books to the Egyptian Scientific Institute in Cairo, many of which were on display at the fair. The SIBF Translation Programme, launched in 2011, has to date facilitated the translation of more than 78 books. The grant scheme was continued at this year’s Professional Programme.