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All you need to know about Emirates AIRLINE Festival of Literature

We’re sure all the bibliophiles out there are thanking the literary gods for this magical start to the new year because the 14th edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is making a much awaited return and will take place from February 3-12 at the Habtoor City Hotels.

If you’re one of those who isn’t put to sleep after reading three lines, read along to find out all the details you need to know about this must-visit event.

The what

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is a celebration of the universe of literary creativity and all its elements. The readers, the writers and the mutual love they share for the written word.

With the aim to instill in people a love for reading and literature, the festival brings together authors and their beloved fans on one platform for an epic exchange of ideas and creativity. Whatever the size of your home library (or lack thereof), it welcomes all.

It’s one giant melting pot of genres and a great place to get bitten by the bookworm bug.

The when

This year, the festival will begin on February 3 and will span over two weekends, till February 12.

The where

The canal by the Habtoor City Hotels will host most of the sessions and will feature an impressive variety of events taking place every weekend.

The who

The guest list of the Emirates Literature Festival is one of the most important things about the whole event. You don’t want to pass up on a chance to get rubbed off by some of that big brain energy that writers, thinkers and activities usually emanate.

Here is the full list of the attending authors.

You’re welcome.

Sarah Gay Forden

Julia Quinn

Serhii Plokhy

Polly Philips

Gary Vaynerchuck

Indra Nooyi

Nadiya Hussain

David Walliams

Omar Saif Ghobash

Iman Mersal

Ali Sparkes

Jalal Bargas

Layne Redman

Omer Taher

David Baldacci

What to expect

Panel discussions, talks, workshops, performances and special events are what you can look forward to this season. A mix of in-person and virtual events will be held with the guests.

‘Fright Night’ is slated to be a spooky night with a Fear Factor Panel formed by Hanna Alkaf, David Eagleman, Polly Philips, and Waleed Owdah who will be descending into the pits of all things macabre.

Charles Dickens’ birthday will be celebrated on February 7 and feature a very special guest – Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, the writer’s great-great-great-granddaughter.

Desert Stanzas, the most popular event of the festival, will captivate audiences with spoken word performances from top artists, set against a backdrop of stars. Nikita Gill, Queena Bergen and Sascha A Akhtar will accompany UAE talents Danabelle Gutierrez, Farah Ali, Zainab Arrefai and Amal Al Sahlawi.

You can also attend the much-anticipated launch of His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash’s first novel.

The competitions

The highlight of the festival are the writing competitions, which are held every festival season, spanning across story writing, poetry, letter writing and performances.

An avid reader and writer, Manaal is known for her passion for telling stories. This passion results in her reading everywhere, on the metro, bus, and even in her dreams. In the rare instance, she isn't absorbed in a book, she can be found cuddling with cats, sleeping, and collecting an obscene amount of shoes.

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