The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has revealed the 302 books that have been selected to benefit from more than AED 2.3 million in grants through its ‘Spotlight on Rights’ programme.

The announcement was made at this year’s Al Ain Book Fair (AABF), which has been organised by ALC under the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and is taking place from 21 to 30 September at Zayed Central Library.

The latest grants from the ‘Spotlight on Rights’ programme follow those announced at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) in May, where grants were offered to publishing houses for 300 books, including print, audio and electronic versions.

“The continued increase in the number of grants offered reflects the commitment of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to support the publishing sector and assist in the recovery of the publishing industry, especially after the challenges caused by the pandemic,” said HE Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC.

“We are very pleased to be able to announce the grants at this year’s Al Ain Book Fair, which showcases our dedication to promoting the publishing sector, while also encouraging publishers to enhance their literary and creative production abilities. We are also confirming our commitment to expand initiatives such as ‘Spotlight on Rights’.”

The 2021 edition of ‘Spotlight on Rights’ received 1,042 submissions for grants. The total support value reached AED 2,359,727, which was distributed in three categories of books: AED 1,679,920 for 138 printed books; AED 230,000 for 41 audible books; and AED 449,807 for 123 e-books. The value of the printed book grants range from AED 9,000 for children’s books to AED 15,000 for other categories of book. The grant value for converting a printed book into an e-book is from AED 3,700 to AED 7,400, and the grant for recording an audio book is AED 5,500 to AED 9,000.

“At the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, we believe in supporting the publishing sector with a comprehensive strategy that establishes necessary platforms, promotes engagement, and connects the publisher, the creative community, and the audience,” said Mouza Al Shamsi, Acting Executive Director of the ALC. “This strategy provides publishers with direct incentives and supports them with positive initiatives to help boost production and expedite the sector's full recovery. We will strive to continuously enrich and prioritise the ‘Spotlight on Rights’ initiative.”

Once a grant is approved, the publisher receives the first payment, equal to 60% of the total grant value. After that, the publisher receives the second payment, equal to 40% of the total value, when they submit the first translated book manuscript or a draft of the electronic or audible book. The last date to submit manuscripts or drafts is 1 December, 2021.

Since its launch in 2009, up to 2020, the ‘Spotlight on Rights’ programme has supported 612 books with a total value of AED 1,836,000. In 2020, the programme introduced the audio and e-book grants to assist with the publishing sector's accelerated development worldwide.  

Through the programme, the ALC aims to promote respect for intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the Arab world and encourage the exchange of IPRs among Arab and international publishing houses. It also strives to enrich Arabic content by supporting the publishing houses financially and professionally and promoting content translation from and into the Arabic language.