Finalist Wins Journey to Destination of Choice with Costa Debate 2017

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Dubai, 11 March, 2017: After an intense campaign, the closing arguments for the Costa Debate are in. At a ceremony during the 2017 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the judges announced the winner of the competition. The second edition of the Costa Debate saw great interest from participants across the UAE. Entries required a 300-word essay or piece of verse on Hot vs Cold. The winner receives a Trip for Two to a destination of their choice while runners-up receive a year’s supply of free coffee.

The prizes were presented by Young Adult fantasy fiction author Frances Hardinge whose most recent novel The Lie Tree won the 2015 Costa Children’s Prize and the Overall 2015 Costa Book of the Year Award. Also in attendance were Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Mr Kevin Zajax, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates Leisure Retail, who was thrilled by the interest in the competition. He said, ‘The entries have been very creative. This is such a fun competition and participants’ essays really showcase how passionate they are about their choice of hot or cold coffee. Books and coffee are the perfect mix and we couldn’t be happier to bring this partnership with the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature to life every year. We cannot wait to start thinking about next year’s Costa Debate!’

The Winner:

  • Rebekah Heaney (Winner)
  • Sarah Abbas (1st Runner Up)
  • Nana Nedeljkovic (2nd Runner Up)
  • Naeema Youssef Youssef Awad (3rd Runner up)
  • Amanda Line (4th Runner Up)
  • Hussam Bou Saad (5th Runner up)

To read the winning entry, visit:

The Costa Debate will return again in 2018 with a brand new debate.

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.