Aims

The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) proposes the following ten aims as a basis for initial stakeholder discussions to gain agreement on the most pressing issues facing the publishing industry and advance joint solutions to move the industry forward. This document is a work in progress, and EPA plans to engage in an ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders on these priorities to enable the publishing industry to fully contribute to the social, cultural, and economic development of the UAE.

The EPA is working towards engaging in an ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders from the industry to empower UAE publishers to fully contribute to the social, cultural and economic development of the UAE. The following ten aims are a priority in order to move the publishing industry forward:

Aligning Stakeholders Around A Common Vision

To keep up with the pace of the country’s rapid development & evolving demand for new & diverse forms of content from our youthful, technology-embracing, digitally-empowered population, there is now a pressing need to integrate efforts to support the industry’s promising future. By creating a common vision and gaining stakeholder support, we the establishment of an enabling infrastructure & environment for the UAE publishing industry to thrive.

To address this challenge, the Emirates Publishers Association will:

  • Develop a thorough stakeholder analysis of industry members, government agencies, consumers, retailers, & other key institutions to understand the key interests of stakeholders and the challenges they face.

  • Encourage key publishing industry stakeholders to develop a nation-wide publishing agenda that prioritizes needs & challenges, identifies strategies for advancing the industry, assigns responsibilities, defines performance metrics, & establishes an implementation timeline.

  • Launch a stakeholder relations campaign to establish common ground with key stakeholders and promote legislative reforms to meet the evolving needs of publishers.

  • Publish an annual report on the state of the UAE’s publishing industry to ensure the effectiveness of federal & Emirate-level initiatives and programs.

Becoming the Hub of Arabic Publishing

To address this challenge, the Emirates Publishers Association will:

  • Conduct a creative industries cluster study in partnership with the Ministry of Economy, chambers of commerce, and relevant free zones to map key sectors such as publishing and digital content, identify gaps and weaknesses in value chains, and resolve bottlenecks that prevent growth.

  • Engage with relevant Emirate-level and national authorities such as the National Media Council, Ministry of Economy, and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development to streamline the process of a starting a publishing company.

  • Analyze the challenges faced by companies in the creative industries to engage with key stakeholders at the national and Emirate-level on specific policies and initiatives to improve the business enabling environment.

  • Work with relevant ministries to consider instituting a matching grants program focused on publishers to implement business improvement practices focused on export competitiveness.

  • Develop a targeted investment promotion strategy aimed at attracting regional and international publishers to UAE free zones or partnering with established local companies.

Improving the Legal Framework for Publishers

To address this challenge, the Emirates Publishers Association will:

  • Launch a stakeholder relations campaign to promote copyright law reforms that adequately protect the work of authors, content creators, & publishers.

  • Support Ministry of Economy efforts to establish an intellectual property rights center, which may mature into a Reproduction Rights Organization, that takes into account the concerns of authors, publishers, & digital content producers.

  • Work with relevant ministries to establish a one-stop shop for publishers to register new businesses, attain and renew circulation licenses, apply for a copyright, and obtain ISBNs.

  • Support the National Media Council’s efforts to amend the circulation licensing process to accommodate eBooks and digital content.

  • Encourage the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Community Development to adopt a lowercost ISBN scheme and offer publishers the opportunity to purchase in bulk.

Increasing Diversity and Quality of Arabic Content

To address this challenge, the Emirates Publishers Association will:

  • Issue an annual report on consumer trends to inform the genre decisions of publishers and help them better respond to emerging opportunities.

  • Develop industry-wide translation standards which grade translations based on a scoring system to ensure industry -wide quality consistency and export competitiveness.

  • Work with relevant ministries and stakeholders to increase the number of initiatives that promote the exchange of translation rights for UAE-produced books and digital content.

  • Assist publishers to develop business cases for genre expansion and content development and seek grant funding from key stakeholders to minimize the risk of growth.

  • Work with key stakeholders to launch a national book and digital content industry development program that assists publishers moving from print-based business models to business models that support digital products.

Developing Quality Arabic Teaching and Learning Materials

To address this challenge, the Emirates Publishers Association will:

  • Work with the Ministry of Education, other relevant ministries, Emirate-level government entities, the Arabic Language Advisory Committee, and teachers to review curriculum standards and identify opportunities for publishers to develop complementary educational materials.

  • Engage with the Federal National Council’s Education, Youth, Media, and Culture Committee and other relevant government entities with the aim of expanding the use of technology in the classroom.

  • Partner with the Ministry of Education, Abu Dhabi Education Council, and Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority to develop online teacher development and support platforms in Arabic to disseminate resource materials.

  • Collaborate with the Abu Dhabi and Sharjah Book Fairs to provide training to publishers on new publishing technologies in the education eld.

Encouraging Reading for Pleasure

To address this challenge, the Emirates Publishers Association will:

  • Work with relevant ministries and stakeholders to develop a nationwide reading rewards programs to increase reading motivation and reinforce reading for pleasure as a national value.

  • Engage the Ministry of Social Affairs to include reading indicators into the Family Cohesion Index for monitoring national progress towards the goals established in UAE Vision 2021.

  • Work with relevant ministries and stakeholders to develop a national awareness campaign to educate parents about the importance of reading to their children and encouraging early positive reading habits.

  • Scale the Knowledge Without Borders and My Family Reads initiatives nationwide to provide Emirati families across the country with a library of books.

  • Continue supporting various efforts to provide free and discounted books and educational materials, particularly Arabic publications, to schools and libraries.

Improving Distribution and Retail

To address this challenge, the Emirates Publishers Association will:

  • Conduct a detailed analysis of the merchandising and promotion strategies of prominent book retailers to develop a set of best practices to improve consumer retail experiences.

  • Develop partnerships with major book fairs and retailers to collect retail sales information from point of sale systems to provide reliable sales information for booksellers, publishers, and other stakeholders.

  • Work with relevant ministries to publicly release statistics which would be helpful to the growth of the publishing industry in association with the federal open data initiative.

  • Develop a business-to-consumer sales portal for EPA members to market their titles directly to consumers.

  • Support existing efforts to develop a regional book distribution system to increase international distribution opportunities for UAE publishers.

Transforming Libraries

To address this challenge, the Emirates Publishers Association will:

  • Work with relevant ministries and stakeholders to conduct a national library facility needs and use assessment to develop a strategy to transform UAE libraries.

  • Convene publishers and key stakeholders to develop a system to provide librarians with information about new releases.

  • Support national and regional groups that can train and bring librarians together to discuss best practices such as the Special Libraries Association Arabian Gulf Chapter, Information Literacy Network, and Abu Dhabi Librarians.

  • Support the implementation of the Emirates National Catalog of Libraries initiative.

  • Work with relevant ministries to develop a public awareness campaign to promote library visitation and increase community awareness of library facilities and services.

Building National Pride and Intercultural Understanding

To address this challenge, the Emirates Publishers Association will:

  • Partner with relevant ministries to introduce intergenerational programs that foster learning and exchange between older and younger generations.

  • Work with relevant ministries and stakeholders to integrate the publishing industry into national and Emirate-level cultural strategies focused on building national pride and encouraging intercultural understanding.

  • Engage with relevant ministries and stakeholders to develop and pilot interactive, cultural curricula to enhance youth participation in culture.

  • Support national engagement with UNESCO to implement the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage and include the UAE’s written and oral traditions on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

  • Continue supporting various efforts to position publishers and artists as cultural ambassadors and which provide opportunities for cultural exchange with other countries.

Developing Skills for Creative Industries and Cultivating Artistic Talent

To address this challenge, the Emirates Publishers Association will:

  • Work with relevant ministries to conduct a feasibility study to evaluate the need for specialized secondary schools that would focus on developing young artists, writers, poets, filmmakers, and musicians.

  • Conduct a study of the early stages of the creative value chain for key cultural industries to determine the suficiency of support offered to artists, writers, poets, filmmakers, and musicians.

  • Work with relevant ministries & employers to establish creative industry skills councils to anticipate the need for skills in specific creative sectors and achieve a better match between the education and training system and labor market needs.

  • Partner with relevant ministries & other stakeholder to conduct a national employment skills survey of promising cultural industries to identify skills gaps & shortages.

  • Work with relevant ministries and other key stakeholders to provide information about the future trajectory of creative industries and promising career paths to attract students to emerging creative industries.

Libraries

UAE takes pride in having a variety of libraries across the country. Browse our list of libraries in each emirate here.


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