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Some stalls at Sharjah book fair flouting price rules.

Sharjah: Several stalls participating at the book fair have been found flaunting the rules and continuing to keep their book prices high.

Organisers of the world book fair have intensified inspections to ensure that distributors are following the rules of selling books at a 25 per cent reduction.

"Inspectors have to check on the stalls up to five or six times a day because they are not complying with the rules. The agents of the publishing houses are not following the currency rates provided in our catalogues, and also have not priced their books appropriately," said Yousuf Aydabi, General Coordinator of the Sharjah World Book Fair.

The 10-day Book Fair runs to November 7.

All foreign participants at the book fair are given a catalogue with fixed currency rates to which they have to comply.

"The currency rates were agreed upon by the organising committee and cannot be changed," stressed Aydabi.

He pointed out that the stalls of participants are first given a warning and would then be closed down if they continued to refuse to follow the regulations. Aydabi noted that none of the stalls have been shut down as yet, and that visitors should notify the administrators if they suspect that the book prices are not accurate.

Visitors at the book fair confirmed that they saw a number of books without the price sticker.

"The books were not labelled properly and I had to ask the attendant for help. I am a bit suspicious about this practice because how do I know that the prices are not made up on the spot? If there are no price labels, they should at least have some sort of electronic bar code to check the price," said Talib Othman.

"I see the prices on the books, but that does not stop me from bargaining. Sometimes the prices are reduced and sometimes they are not, but it never crossed my mind that the prices are already fixed by the organisers," said May Khouri.

More than 125,000 visitors have been to the Sharjah Book Fair up to Sunday night, organisers revealed yesterday.

Exhibition timings:

Daily: 9am-1pm, 5-10.30pm

Friday: 4.30-10.30pm

Children's Activities: 9.30-11am, 5.30-7.30pm

Associated Activities: 5.30-9pm

Admission is free

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Nov 4, 2008
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