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Kobo announces Arabic language e-reader at book fair

Kobo aims to enhance the e-book sales sector in the Arab region Creative Commons
Kobo aims to enhance the e-book sales sector in the Arab region

Rakuten Kobo, the world’s second largest e-reader brand after Amazon, is to adopt Arabic as a primary browsing language for users later this year, said CEO Michael Tamblyn at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this week.

Canada-based Rakuten Kobo, which hosts some seven million titles in 76 languages, operates its delivery of e-books to consumers in 190 countries. 

Tamblyn, who was addressing the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries at Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibition Centre, said Kobo aims to enhance the e-book sales sector in the Arab region and create a thriving, digital market for the publication of books. 

It comes at a time when much of the region works to develop both its digital-publishing and digital-distribution.

Kobo is “in that middle point between the world of paper and the world of screens, with the focus and immersion of ‘deep reading,’ but with the accessibility and portability that technology provides,” said Tamblyn. 

He added Kobo has supported multiple languages, different currencies and payment methods for the last 12 years, and now sales are roughly one-third from Asia, one-third from the Americas north and south, and one-third to Europe.

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