About the Festival

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  • 185+ Writers
  • 37 Countries
  • 44000+ Visitors

“At the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, we bring people of all ages and backgrounds together with authors from across the world to promote education, debate and above all else, love of reading and writing.”

Ahlan wa Sahlan!

Isobel Abulhoul OBE

CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

About Us

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is the Arab World’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word.

Launched in 2009 with 65 authors, the Festival has grown continually and, in 2017, hosted over 185 authors from 37 countries to entertain and educate 44,000 visitors.

The Festival places home-grown talent centre-stage and offers local fans the chance to interact with world famous authors, attend literary debates and workshops and participate in competitions. The Festival’s education outreach programme gives students the chance to meet their literary heroes.

The 2018 Festival will be held from March 1-10, 2018 at the InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City 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 culture, arts, and heritage.

The Festival is organised by the Emirates Literature Foundation, which was established by Royal Decree in 2013.

DubaiLitFest 2017 Highlights


What our Authors are Saying About Us

“We were hugely inspired and felt extremely privileged to be among such a brilliant group of people, who we’re now delighted to call friends. You really have created something truly special and it’s an experience that we will never forget.”

Jo Malone, Entrepreneur and Author

“There are no words that can really express how much I appreciate your efforts to make reading, books, culture and knowledge a part of daily life of the readers and people, especially the new generation. Plus the chance to exchange ideas, thoughts and creativity between the authors from all over the world.”

Ibrahim Farghali, Young Adult Author

“[The Festival has] given me and Victoria one of the most precious gifts of our careers: an opportunity to touch others, to change young lives, and to be a part of the world-wide family of authors without walls, borders, or prejudice.”

Eric Van Lustbader, Bourne Series author

“I arrived not knowing what to expect, and left wishing the Festival was at least another week longer. I do not know how many people I met, but all of them were interesting and covered an amazing age range. The panels I attended as an audience member were entertaining as well as fascinating, and I came away with many new friends.”

Peter F Hamilton, Sci-Fi Author

“Never as an author have I felt as well looked after and appreciated at a Festival as I was in Dubai, and it was a brief slice of heaven. The audiences were the most engaged and passionate readers I have spoken to for some time, especially the schools audiences who had the most thoughtful and perceptive questions of any school children I have spoken to.”

Piers Torday, Children’s Author

“Thank you for a terrific festival. It was so well organised, and the team could not have been more dedicated, more helpful or more charming. It is one of the very best festivals in the world.”

Peter Frankopan, Historian and Author

“Every year I get to meet one of my idols and that makes me a very fortunate person indeed for knowing you and for getting invited to the Festival every year.”

Noura Al Noman, Young Adult Sci-Fi Author

“I had a truly wonderful time at the festival, both in session and out of session. It was so immaculately organized and thoughtfully put together.”

Kanishk Tharoor, Author and Broadcaster

“It was the most wonderful, mind expanding, heart-warming (and heart rending!), joyous, fun festival to come to. I loved every moment. Thank you.”

Tanya Landman, Children’s Author

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