All main speaker sessions, panel sessions and masterclasses will have simultaneous translation in Arabic and English’

The fast-paced, lively programme at the Dubai International Publishing Conference encompasses two days of solo talks, panel sessions and masterclasses.

All main speaker and panel sessions will have simultaneous translation in English and Arabic.

Five masterclasses lead by publishing experts will take place alongside the main sessions, lasting 40 minutes. Each masterclass will be open to 15 participants on a first-come-first-served basis.

The coffee, tea and lunch breaks will either include an additional talk or session, or give delegates the opportunity to meet and network.

All main speaker sessions, panel sessions and masterclasses will have simultaneous translation in Arabic and English

Conference Schedule

Day 1


Welcome from David Perry, Dubai International Publishing Conference Director
followed by Keynote Address from Jeffrey Archer

The Global Publisher’s Role in Today’s World
In a vastly changed global, multilingual, digital world of culture, education, and research, how can publishers keep up, and what should they be doing?
Richard Charkin

Starting Up to Success
From ambition to established publisher, how do start-ups get started, and how do they find and publish the best authors?
Emma Shercliff

Inaugural Address
HE Abdulla Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai
Introduced by Ibrahim Khadim, Deputy Festival Director, Emirates Literature Foundation


Publishing a Runaway Bestseller case study: Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks
International success brings unexpected challenges. How do we navigate the path of a brand-new bestseller?
Carole Tonkinson will be in conversation with David Perry

Masterclass - What Does the Consumer Want:
How to use data to find out
Louisa Livingston
Max 15 participants

Great Publishing Strategies for SMEs
What are the best ways to sell and market books across the exciting, expanding market of the Middle East?
Adrian Greenwood

Lunch with talk from Nisha Katona, author of Pimp My Rice

Innovative Publishing for the Visually Impaired
How Braille, audio and large print can bring great books to everyone
Fahad Ali Al Mamari, Mohammed Al Friah & Dr Ahmed Omran Al Shamsi, moderated by Mohammed Rashed Aleghfeli

Masterclass – Marketing Matters:
How to make it work
James Spackman
Max 15 participants

Social Media Publishing: The Story So Far, and Where is it Going?
Holly Harris will be in conversation with Emma Shercliff


Publishing in the UAE
The successes, challenges and opportunities of today’s publishing scene
Jamal Al Shehhi, Charlie Scott & Alsa'ad Almenhali, moderated by Ibrahim Khadim
Closing remarks for Day One
David Perry

Day 2

Ibrahim Khadim, Deputy Festival Director, Emirates Literature Foundation
followed by

Engaging with Publishers
Creating a culture of engagement between the National Media Council and publishers: the rules and the challenges H.E. Mansour al Mansouri & H.E. Jamal Bin Huwairab, moderated by Julie Till

What Publishers' Associations and Unions do for You
Competition, yes, but cooperation, too. Working together raises everyone’s game
Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Richard Charkin & Mohamed Rashad, moderated by Dr Ali Abdul Qader Al Hammadi

Arab Authors Writing in French
From the fringes to the centre
Charif Majdalani


Today’s Fashions in Children’s Books
What do children really want to read today, and how can we predict what they want tomorrow?
Marwa Al Aqroubi, Amal Farah, Rachel Hamilton & Lucy Strange, moderated by Samar Al Mashta

Masterclass: International Rights and How to Exploit Them
Jason Bartholomew
Max 15 participants

Going Digital
Ebooks and audio in Arabic – what are the platforms and where are the readers?
Shadi Al Hasan & Tarek El Bolbol, moderated by Ranya Abdel Rahman

13.00 -14.00
Lunch with Translation Matchmaking Session
The Emirates Literature Foundation team will present ten books – five in Arabic, five in English – that they passionately believe deserve translation

Creating the Roald Dahl Dictionary
An exercise in collaboration between Oxford University Press, Penguin Random House, and the Dahl Estate
Vineeta Gupta

Masterclass: Creative Commissioning
How to choose and nurture the best authors for your list
Carole Tonkinson
Max 15 participants

Publishing Great Authors: the ‘Cairo Trilogy’ by Naguib Mahfouz
Finding new markets for Arab writers around the world
Trevor Naylor

Got data? How to use it. No data? How to get it, and why it matters
Can you sell more books using information you didn't know was any use?
Louisa Livingston


Maximising International Rights
There’s a whole world out there. What have you got to sell, and who’s buying?
Jason Bartholomew

Masterclass – Breaking Through in Children’s Publishing:
A new way forward
Amal Farah
Max 15 participants

Know your Booksellers
How to motivate the people who sell your books!
James Spackman

Closing remarks
David Perry

Please note the programme is subject to change