The Emirates Airline Festival Of Literature 2017 takes place between March 3 and 11 in the InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City. Held during the UAE’s Month Of Reading, it will feature 160 authors, a third of whom are from the UAE and Arab world, with more than 32 nationalities represented. It’s the ninth edition of the literary celebration that brings authors and readers from all over the world together in Dubai, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for heritage, arts, and culture.
The Festival offers UAE nationals, residents and visitors an opportunity to meet some of their favourite authors, listen to readings, attend debates and participate in workshops. There is also exciting fringe activity and plenty of events for the children. With simultaneous translation between the English and Arabic languages for selected sessions, the festival is a true meeting of minds where ideas are shared and friendships are bonded. 2016 saw 170 writers from 35 countries and over 40,000 visitors attend the festival, the largest in the region, which featured more than 200 one-off sessions and events designed with a wide appeal to ensure there is something for everyone.
Details have been released for the 2017 Festival activity and include sessions with master storyteller Jeffrey Archer, Queen of Crime Kathy Reichs, celebrated Emirati writer Dr. Hamad Al Hammady, veteran poet Mourid Barghouti and multi-award-winning journalist Christina Lamb. Also attending will be prominent Emirati adventurer, photographer and campaigner Jalal Jamal Bin Thaneya, having recently completed a challenging journey on foot across all seven Emirates in only 14 days to raise awareness for people with special needs. For the first time, the Emirates Festival of Literature will host four three-day Creative Writing courses in Arabic and English for writers at different stages of their journey – from Start-Up Writing to Writing And Improving Your Novel, Writing For Children (English) and Writing For Children And Young Adults (Arabic). Workshops will be conducted featuring internationally acclaimed authors Patrick Gale, Sue Moorcroft, Tamsyn Murray and Fatima Sharafeddine. Each three-day course is available to purchase now, more details on the website below.
The Festival Education events run parallel to the main Festival, including author visits to colleges and schools across the UAE, as well as competitions and fringe activities. Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, said; “It is always a hugely exciting moment when tickets go on sale. We have a stellar line-up of diverse authors and sessions, and there truly is something to suit all tastes; so many sessions are expected to sell out within the first few weeks. We aim to create a pantechnicon of events that mirrors the global community living in the UAE, and I think this year’s programme really achieves that, especially with the increased number of Arab World authors. We’re also proud to create a programme that aligns itself with the overall goals of the National Reading Law.”
Pimp My Rice
Lunch with Nisha Katona (Friday 3 March, 1pm-3pm Vista, InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City)
Murder Mystery Dinner
The Fatal Festival (Friday 3 March, 7.30pm-10pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City)
The Great British Afternoon Tea
With Nadiya Hussain (Saturday 4 March, 2.30pm-4pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental Dubai Festival City)
Mystic Life by Leila Aboulela
A Play Reading (Sunday 5 March, 7pm-8pm Al Ras 1, InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City)
Spices on the Silk Roads
A Supper Club Discussion (Wednesday 8 March, 7pm-9pm Zaytoun, Crowne Plaza Hotel)
When in the Arab World
A Lunch that Means Business (Thursday 9 March, 1.30pm-3pm Vista, InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City)
Desert Stanzas 2017
(Thursday 9 March, 6pm-11pm)
Letters to the Festival (Saturday 11 March, 7pm-8pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City)