Spotlight On The Emirates

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Brand New Platform for Emirati Literature at Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2016

Dubai, January 27, 2016: Re-discover the glories of the past and present of the UAE at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2016. The new extended Festival features a special segment highlighting Emirati culture, history and literature. From 1-3 March, the Spotlight on the Emirates will host a number of renowned Emirati literary stars along with sessions paying tribute to the literary culture of the UAE.

Spotlight on the Emirates

Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature explained: ‘It is really important that Emirati writers and literature from the UAE is celebrated at our Festival. Each one of us living here can only benefit by understanding more about the rich seam of stories and poetry in a variety of forms that emanate from the UAE; we will certainly be the richer for it.

‘Setting these sessions in historical Al Shindagha at the Dubai International Writers’ Centre will add to the authentic Arab World atmosphere. I am delighted that the Festival can showcase some of the best talents.’

Audiences can look forward to meeting award-winning poet, scriptwriter and film director Nujoom Al Ghanem, children’s author Shaima AlMarzooqi, TV broadcast professional and executive coach Mai El Khalifa and the first Emirati founder of a Pilates studio in the UAE, Asma Hilal Lootah.

Creating an informal intimate gathering seated around a charcoal burner that keeps gahwah (coffee) hot, the first ever ‘Stories and Poems from the Desert to the City’ with Ali Abu Al Reesh, Fahad Almamari, Humaid bin Thaiban Al Mansoori and Dr. Hessah Abdullah Lootah, celebrates the rich history of oral story-telling in the region. The life of legendary writer and poet, Mohammed Bin Hadher, who attended the Festival in 2010, will be the focus of the very first evening. Renowned author Ibrahim Al Hashimi, who has written a book on Bin Hadher’s life and poems, will lead a tribute from his family and colleagues. The event will showcase his incredible achievements and the impact he has had on UAE culture with his business acumen as well as through his contributions to the establishment of Al Nadwa: The UAE Cultural and Scientific Association and the Rashid Prize for Higher Education.

As part of the celebrations, international choirs brought to Dubai by ChoirFest Middle East will add musical verve and another dimension to the wonderful evening events.

Tickets for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2016 are now available to purchase online via the website – The 12-day long Festival will be the UAE’s first international literary event of 2016, declared by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the Year of Reading. The declaration will encourage participation in the Arab Reading Challenge launched in September last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, under whose patronage the Festival is held.

All information about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is online. Check for updates at Join us on Facebook (, Twitter (, Instagram ( and YouTube ( for competitions and more updates.