Tickets On Sale For Emirates Airline Festival Of Literature 2017

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Dubai, 16 January 2017: Tickets are now on sale for the ninth Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the annual literary extravaganza that brings a host of top authors to Dubai. Not to be missed events include sessions with master storyteller Jeffrey Archer, Queen of Crime Writers Kathy Reichs, celebrated Emirati writer Dr Hamad Al Hammady, veteran poet Mourid Barghouti and multi award-winning journalist Christina Lamb

The Festival will take place over nine days from 3-11 March:

  • Held during the UAE’s 2017 Month of Reading
  • Will feature more than 160 authors
  • A third of the authors are from the UAE and the Arab World
  • More than 32 different nationalities represented
  • Simultaneous translation for Arabic and English for most sessions

Also in attendance will be Emirati adventurer, photographer and campaigner Jalal Jamal Bin Thaneya, who recently completed a gruelling journey, on foot, of the seven Emirates in only 14 days, in an effort to raise awareness about people with special needs.

Residential Creative Writing Course

For the first time, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will be holding four three-day Creative Writing Courses in Arabic and English for writers at different stages of their writing journey. Internationally-acclaimed authors Patrick Gale, Sue Moorcroft, Tamsyn Murray and Fatima Sharafeddine will be conducting workshops on:

  • Creative Writing Course 1 – Start-up Writing
  • Creative Writing Course 2 – Writing and Improving Your Novel
  • Creative Writing Course 3 – Writing for Children (English)
  • Creative Writing Course 4 – Writing for Children and Young Adults (Arabic)

Each three-day course will be available to purchase from January 9 for members of the loyalty programme Foundation Friends, and from January 16 for the general public. More details available online.

Feature Events

  • 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)
  • Closing Ceremony – Letters to the Festival (Saturday 11 March, 7pm-8pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City)


Visitors can also win tickets and exclusive opportunities to meet authors with the Festival’s online competitions:

  • Family Favourite Bake Competition
  • Share and Meet the Authors, At The Top!
    • Enter your details in the online form
    • Share the competition with at least 3 friends on social media to increase your chances of winning
    • Win a visit At The Top, Burj Khalifa to meet a Festival 2017 Author
    • Winners must be available on the mornings of March 5, 2017 or March 8, 2017 to avail of the prize

Festival Genres

  • Adults’ Workshops
  • Biography & Memoir
  • Business & Economics
  • Children – Young Adult
  • Children & YA Workshops
  • Children 5 & Under
  • Children 6+
  • Children 9+
  • Comics & Animation
  • Conservation
  • Creative Writing Course
  • Crime & Thriller
  • Culture & Folklore
  • Emirati
  • Family
  • Feature Events
  • Fiction
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Gaming & Technology
  • Gender
  • Getting Published
  • Happiness
  • Historical Fiction
  • History
  • Illustration & Design
  • Mystery Tour
  • Photography
  • Poetry & Spoken Word
  • Politics & Current Affairs
  • Prize Giving
  • Psychology & Health
  • Science & Nature
  • Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • Stage & Screen
  • Tolerance
  • Travel & Sport

The main Festival programme runs parallel to the Festival’s Education events, which also includes author visits to colleges and schools across the UAE, competitions and Fringe activities.

‘It is always a hugely exciting moment when tickets go on sale,’ said Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. ‘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.’

The National Reading Law was instituted by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to support the development of the country and establish the UAE as a cultural role model in the region.

Ticket prices start at AED 40 and many children’s events and activities are available free of charge. Tickets can be purchased on the Festival website ( and via the Emirates Literature Foundation app, available on the iOS and Google Play app stores. Become a Foundation Friend and enjoy benefits throughout the year, including priority booking on Festival tickets, as well as exclusive discounts at selected Emirates Literature Foundation events and workshops and retail outlets in the UAE.

The Festival is held 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.

More information about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature can be found online. Fans can keep up to date with #DubaiLitFest action on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and year-round news of #ELFDubai on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.