Things to do at the Doha International Book Fair 2023

Things to do at the Doha International Book Fair 2023

Qatar Living
By Qatar Living

The 32nd Doha International Book Fair is here and is not to be missed. For ten exhilarating days, bibliophiles and thought leaders will once again converge at the highly anticipated annual event organized by the Ministry of Culture—the DIBF. This year, however, promises more than just the whisper of pages turning; the event transcends traditional literature boundaries to create a multi-dimensional cultural exchange. Using this guide, you’ll be able to organize your visit to DIBF 2023 featuring over 500 publishers, an extensive repertoire of engaging activities and thought-provoking workshops, cafes, musical performances, embassy stands and more. So, lace up your most comfortable shoes because this literary journey is one you won't want to miss.

Here are the details of the book fair and a list of things to do (along with stall numbers) for you to have the ultimate experience at the Doha International Book Fair 2023.

Events details

Dates: June 12 to June 21, 2023

Location: Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC)

Timings:

Daily: 9 am – 10 pm

Friday: 3 pm – 10 pm

Access: Free to attend

Here are the things to do at DIBF 2023:

Stock up on favorites at these English bookstalls

The book fair has a fair mix of publishing houses that sell Arabic and English books along with some stalls that have books in various vernacular and commonly-spoken languages. If you are looking for English books and the latest titles in different genres, be sure to head to these English book stalls for your choice of picks. A word to the wise, remember to compare titles from different stalls for the best possible deal or edition. Don’t be shy to chat with stall owners to knock a couple of riyals off the price in a good bargain, especially if you end up buying a lot of books.

Must-visit stalls:

  • US Embassy: H4-80
  • Alif Stores: H1-66
  • Samarkand: H2-70
  • Academic India: H2 -87
  • Crescent Bookshop: H2-99
  • Lonely Planet Bookstore: H2 -102
  • Panworld Education: H2-113
  • Alrewaya: H2-116
  • Brown Watson: H2 – 122
  • Penguin Random House: H4 - 103
  • Books and Beyond: H4-119
  • Mind to Mind: H4 – 120

What’s available: the latest bestsellers in fiction, non-fiction, autobiographies, self-help, essays, poetry, memoirs, contemporary fiction, young adult novels, fantasy, thrillers, manga, comics, mysteries, romance, and so much more.

Get your children reading at these children’s bookstalls

Getting your kid to read can be tricky but with enough right books catering to their curiosities or interests, they may hopefully pick up on the great habit, and keeping avid young readers supplied with good books is also a challenge. For parents, that makes the Doha International Book Fair a great chance to take the family out and see to everyone’s literary needs. The sprawling book fair will feature several publishers and bookshops selling age-appropriate children’s books for all ages and reading interests. If this is your first-time selecting books for young readers, feel free to ask the salesperson at the stall for book recommendations. They’ll be sure to help you pick out the right book for your child’s age and interest.

Must-visit stalls:

  • US Embassy: H4-80
  • Emirates Publisher Association: H2-01
  • Jaroos Press: H1-29
  • Britannia Books: H2-121
  • Big Ben: H4 -104
  • Happy Tots: H4-137
  • Other stalls: H4-106 & 7, H4-136

What’s available: Age-specific picture books, fairytales, fables, children’s literature, fantasy, science-fiction, educational books, TV-show character books, along with activity books and coloring books.

Shop for fun toys and educational resources

Apart from different book genres, the book fair also has many fun toys and educational resources for all age groups. Not only are they engaging and interactive, but these toys and education aids also make learning interesting, especially for kids with learning disabilities.

Must-visit stalls:

  • Tree Granta Education: H4 -131
  • Bryto: H4-95
  • Majlis Shabab: H4-130
  • Edu Fun: H4-110

Others:

  •         H4-129
  •         H5-97
  •         H5-102
  •         H4-115

What’s available: Different types of board games, card games, teaching and study aids, activity toys, crafts, miniatures, educational toy mats, educational boards, scientific toys, robotic toys, sensory toys, building blocks, legos, magna tiles and so much more.

Boost your knowledge on Islam at Islamic bookstalls

The Islamic book stalls are a great place to stock up on religious texts as well as renowned books that explain Islamic teachings for all ages. You’ll find several publishing houses selling Islamic books that will not only expand your horizons in the religion but also bring you in touch with books that are easy to read and understand. Many books that touch upon different aspects of religion and spirituality, teachings, and Islamic teachings are available for purchase. You can always ask for advice or help from the very knowledgeable stall owners and agents who will kindly recommend different titles and answer your queries for you.

  • Must-visit stalls:
  • Learning Roots: H2-141
  • IIPH: H2-142
  • Blackstone & Holywell: H2-85
  • Alligator: H5-105

What’s available:

For adults - The Holy Qur’an and its translation in different languages, Tafsir-e-Qur’an, different editions of the Prophets’ biographies, books on teachings of Islam, etiquettes, good habits, stories of the Sahabah, hadith, completed volumes and summarized versions of the Sahih Al-Bukhari.

For children – Simplified versions of the Qur’an, dua books, books on how to pray, basic teachings of Islam, stories of Prophet Muhammad SAW, prophet’s stories, illustrated books on Islamic habits and morals, Qur’anic stories, Islamic literature and fiction, and more.

Visit the Children’s Oasis for a fun-filled experience

Not to be missed, especially when visiting with kids, the Children’s Oasis is an unmissable experience for all. Head to the dedicated enclosure close to Gate 5, named Children’s Oasis, which is truly a haven for kids to enjoy, learn, and indulge in various fun activities. There are volunteers at each of these activities who ensure the child has enough fun and guides them through each activity.

Attractions: Lego Area, Dadu- Children’s Museum Story Realm, Puppet Theatre, Kids Expo 2023 (gardening and potting), Reading Area, Animals Mentioned in the Qur’an, Wall of Emotions, Art Workshops, Diving Journey, Children’s Reading Area and a main Children’s Oasis Theatre area.

Check out these embassy booths

Several embassies have representation at the Doha International Book Fair 2023 and Saudi Arabia is a guest of honor at this year’s fair. Other countries such as South Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Russian Federation, Algeria, and Syria also have their stalls and booths, which are worth checking out. Chat with one of their representatives to gain more insight into these countries. Shop for lovely books on the country’s culture, tourism, and add beautiful coffee table books to your collection.

Must-visit embassy stalls:

  • Guest of honor: Saudi Arabia (booth near main entrance at Gate 3)
  • US Embassy: H4-80
  • Iran: H4-02
  • Indonesia: H4-03
  • India: H4-04
  • Russian Federation: H4-05
  • Algeria: H4-06
  • Syria: H4 37
  • Japan: H4 38
  • Republic of Korea: H4-57

Visit the Qatar National Library booth

Our very own Qatar National Library also has a booth at the DIBF and is well-worth a visit. The QNL stall has different engaging stations for all. Participate in the Knowledge Challenge and stand a chance to win an iPad. Head to their photobooth and step back in time. Use the opportunity to sign up at their booth for a free library membership. Scan the QR codes available at the booth to get QNL’s recommendation for books in different genres.

Location: Hall 4 

Explore the programs at Qatar Reads

Did you know that Qatar has its very own reading subscription program? Yes, Qatar Reads is there at the book fair to help you understand how this works. Head over to their pavilion and have some of the volunteers walk you through the process. They offer different reading programs that caters to the entire family, mommies-to-be, Stories 2 Go, and Read to Lead. Have fun at one of their interactive stations and reflect on your reading habits.

Location: Pavillion 82

Check out the activities and workshops at Qatar Museums

Art and history enthusiasts may very well visit the pavilion by Qatar Museums to explore their varied offerings at the Doha International Book Fair. The booth has many titles on display including award-winning publications, art catalogues on history, archeology,modern & Islamic art, sports, and more. Apart from display of these publications, Qatar Museums is also set to host different interactive workshops, seminars, and book launches too.

Location: Hall 4 

Enjoy the live entertainment, seminars, and cooking shows

The 32nd Doha International Book Fair has enough things to do even for the intellectuals. Head over to the main stage area to catch educational talks, panel discussions and seminars on important topics. There’s live entertainment where performers play traditional music for all. The cooking stage closer to Gate 1 has a schedule where famous chefs in Qatar and the region hold live cooking demonstrations for an audience.

Relax and unwind at the cafes and restaurants

Shopping and exploring the massive exhibition space can leave you hungry and wanting a drink. There are several cafes and kiosks scattered throughout the venue to quench your thirst and grab a quick bite. The two main cafes include a two-story restaurant space by Desert Rose and Café Pouchkine each, where you can grab your food and head to the top of the restaurant for an elevated view of the surrounding bookstalls in the book fair. Several other cafes have their kiosks and booth as well to offer refreshments and drinks.

Cafes to check out: Desert Rose, Café Pouchkine, Dhahya Gourmet, Earth Coffee Shop,  Nawa Café and more.

As the curtain rises on the 32nd Doha International Book Fair 2023, literature enthusiasts and intellectuals are offered a platform to connect, learn, and engage. The ten-day event, organized by the Ministry of Culture, boasts a diverse roster of over 500 publishers along with an array of workshops and activities. 

Serving as more than just a gathering for book lovers, the DIBF provides a robust forum for cultural exchange and intellectual discourse. Explore the various facets of this fair with our comprehensive guide, and unlock the full potential of your visit. From unique book findings to enlightening conversations, there's something at the DIBF for every literary enthusiast. Stay tuned to our updates and don't miss this annual literary highlight.

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