Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Dubai Opera Host Landmark Poetry Event

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‘For the Love of Words’ Celebrates Resurgence of Verse

Dubai, 6 March, 2018: The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature held its landmark event, For the Love of Words, at Dubai Opera today. This first literary performance staged at Dubai Opera, was presented jointly by the Festival, Dubai Opera and the Ministry of Tolerance, as part of the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration led by the British Council with the support of the UK GREAT campaign.

Performing poets included John Agard, Simon Armitage, Harry Baker, Imtiaz Dharker, Carol Ann Duffy, Roger McGough, Grace Nichols, Lemn Sissay and contemporary Emirati poets Khalid AlBudoor, Nujoom Nasser Alghanem, Hussain Lootah and Afra Atiq. The packed theatre, among whom was His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation and President of the UAE National Olympic Committee, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Emirates Literature Foundation, His Excellency Abdulrahman Bin Mohamed Al Owais, Cabinet Member and Minister of Health and Prevention, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, His Excellency Mohammed Al Murr, Emirates Literature Foundation Trustee and Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation Chairman, His Excellency Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Ruba Al Hassan, Ministry of Culture and Community Development, Professor Rafia Obaid Ghubash, Founder of the Women’s Museum and Sukoon and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation, Gavin Anderson, Director UAE, British Council, Hannah Henderson, Head of UK/UAE 2017 at the British Council and representatives of the British Council, were mesmerised by the performances in both Arabic and English.

At the event, Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature said, “For us at the Festival, we have always held poetry close to our hearts. Poetry is one of the forms of literature that has the power to transcend boundaries of space, time and language. The world’s top poets grace Dubai’s shores every year, thrilling audiences with compelling and heart-felt performances. We are proud to have hosted one of the first and largest poetry events of the year in the UAE.”

Jasper Hope, Chief Executive, Dubai Opera, said, “What a brilliant way to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of this amazing Festival, it was an absolute pleasure to hear such esteemed poets perform on the Dubai Opera stage and I hope we have the chance to welcome many more in the future.”

The 10th Emirates Airline Festival of Literature continues till 10 March with more sessions, panels and workshops for all age groups. Tickets can be purchased at the Festival website (tickets.emirateslitfest.com) or via the ELF Dubai app, available on the iOS and Google Play app stores and at Magrudy’s outlets around the UAE. Become a Foundation Friend loyalty member and enjoy benefits throughout the year, including priority booking and discounts on select Festival tickets, as well as exclusive discounts at several retail outlets in the UAE.

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.