EPA drives changes across UAE’s publishing landscape

EPA drives changes across UAE’s publishing landscape
EPA drives changes across UAE’s publishing landscape

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - An infographic showing EPA accomplishments during 2019.

The year 2019 ended on a high note for Emirate Publishers Association (EPA) as it was marked by a series of milestones including the debut of the Educational Publishing Seminar, introduction of new services and initiatives for the publishing fraternity in the UAE, and the continued representation of Emirati publishers at regional and international events, exhibitions and seminars.

The face of Emirati publishers at global events

With the aim of furthering ties between Emirati publishers and their international counterparts, EPA participated in more than 25 international book fairs throughout 2019. Discussing new ways of cooperation with international publishers, it also showcased the works of the Emirati publishers at international and regional venues.

‘Manassah’ extends international outreach of Emirati publishers

In February, EPA launched a new cultural project – Manassah, to benefit its member publishers who have less than 20 published works under their hat and may find it

difficult to represent themselves at international book fairs in the region due to high participation costs. This stems from its ongoing efforts to support new and upcoming local publishers enhance their regional visibility through dedicated independent exhibits at these events, and thereby boost the UAE’s book publishing industry. So far, more than 34 publishers have benefited from this platform.

One Stop Shop in SPC free zone

In February, EPA launched ‘One Stop Shop’, an integrated information and services centre at the Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone for its members, in its ongoing efforts to boost the publishing landscape of the UAE. This centralised resource hub allows publishers easy access to services offered by EPA and the National Media Council. These include assistance on registration or annual renewal of membership, printing permits, trade inquiries, and other services.

Highlighting business value of research and data

EPA commenced the process of establishing a complete database of the UAE publishing industry in June. In collaboration with The Nielsen Company, EPA conducted a full-day workshop with the participation of 35 publishers and other industry professionals to understand how research and data can boost the UAE’s book industry. It also led discussions on benefits of implementing data aggregation and survey research to aid the discovery and purchase, distribution and sales measurement of their products.

Attractive perks

EPA signed an MoU with the Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone offering massive rent discounts to encourage its members to set up their businesses at the free zone. Members were offered 60%reduction on rents of the office space for two years from the lease’s start date.

Support for publishing start-ups

As part of its mission to support entrepreneurs and start-ups in the publishing and digital content sectors, EPA signed an MoU with Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre

(Sheraa) and Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPC Free Zone) to launch ‘Access Sharjah’ in March 2020.

This programme supports innovative start-ups from around the world venturing into the publishing and digital content sector. It also helps promising start-ups launching their business in the emirate of Sharjah reach their target market.

5-year roadmap to transform the UAE’s educational publishing s-ectorIn October, EPA held the debut edition of the Educational Publishing Seminar, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the International Publishers Association (IPA) with the participation of 22 speakers in 7 interactive sessions that tackled opportunities and challenges facing the sector.

Following the conclusion of the two-day seminar, EPA presented recommendations and hands-on solutions create a 5-year roadmap to transform the UAE’s educational publishing sector and its national curricula. A committee representing EPA, MoE, educational publishers and teachers was formed which will supervise the implementation of these recommendations that will seek to build a knowledge-based, innovative and pioneering society.

EPA marks 10th anniversary

In March 2019, when EPA celebrated its 10th anniversary, the association which was established with just 13 members had seen a more than 10-fold increase, taking the total number of members to 166.

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