IFLA Succumbs to Dubai’s Soft Power Strategy


  • Frank Houghton Technological University of the Shannon
  • Daisy Houghton University of Galway


The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) have announced that the 2024 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) will be held in Dubai. It is clear that the IFLA has fallen prey to Dubai’s soft power strategy. Dubai routinely denies basic human rights, with particular restrictions evident in relation to women's rights, the LGBTQ+ community,  and those of migrant workers. The ruling regime in Dubai represents so much of what the IFLA and the American Library Association (ALA) stand against. This decision runs contrary to the wishes of a recent vote of the IFLA membership. This decision will significantly weaken the credibility of the IFLA. To attend the WLIC in Dubai confers tacit support, as well prestige and legitimacy on a regime that denies basic freedoms.






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