Dubai Opens its Doors to Fans of Literature

By Rituparna Mahapatra

On 3rd March, 2017, the much loved Emirates Airline Festival of Literature opened in Dubai. The festival is on for nine days from 3-11 March, and is held during the UAE’s Month of Reading. Welcoming more than 180 authors from all over the world, including 70 authors from the Arab world, this event is marked with 250 sessions of master classes, workshops, talks and interactive panel discussions from the very best in the literary world. The festival widely covers all areas of creativity from literature, art, music, cooking to photography.

There are over 50 children’s session, the most popular being ones with Francesca Simon, the creator of the Horrid Henry series, and Julia Johnson. The highlight of the festival is talks and interactive sessions by master storyteller Lord Jeffrey Archer, and talks by John Hemmingway, the grandson of the legendary Ernest Hemmingway, celebrated crime writer Kathy Reichs, veteran Emirati author Abdull Aziz AlMusallam and award-winning journalist Christina Lamb.

From 5th to 7th March, the festival conducts a residential writing course for aspiring writers conducted by award winning international authors. The students will get an opportunity to present and discuss their manuscripts and meet with various publishing houses and agents; the first of its kind in the region.

The popular Desert Stanzas are on, showcasing an evening under the stars in a traditional desert camp, with an Arabian feast, campfire and poetry reading by world renowned poets.

Festival highlights also include #CookforSYRIA. In this UAE Year of Giving, the Festival hosts the Cook for Syria fundraising dinner where all proceeds from the event go to Emirates Red Crescent and proceeds from the #CookForSYRIA book sales go directly to UNICEF’s Children of Syria Fund.

Voted as the most popular event of the year, Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature is truly an enriching and enjoyable experience for everyone.

The Festival is on in Dubai till the 11th of March. More information about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature can be found on