Dubai to host Festival of Literature

Some of the world’s most creative literary talent will write a new chapter in the inspirational story of Dubai when the city hosts the inaugural Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature (EAIFL), announced at the London Book Fair.Authors confirmed to speak at the festival include Paolo Coelho, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Lynne Truss, Anne Fine, Jeremy Strong and Lauren Child. Other participating authors will be household names in genres such as fiction, children’s, lifestyle and sport.

The inaugural festival will take place in Dubai between 25th February and 1st March 2009; the first event of its kind on this scale to be held in the Middle East. EAIFL will be an annual event, bringing together people of all nationalities and cultures to celebrate literature and reading in all its forms.

EAIFL is directed by Isobel Abulhoul, Director of Magrudy’s, the region’s leading chain of bookshops, and Bill Samuel, Vice Chairman of London’s bookshop, Foyles.

Isobel Abulhoul said: “This festival is the first of its kind in the Middle East to provide a showcase for authors from the region, as well as bringing internationally bestselling writers to a new audience.”

Headline Sponsor Emirates Airline has recognised the benefits of attracting a literary audience to Dubai by adding an important, exciting cultural event to Dubai’s burgeoning arts calendar.


Mike Simon, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, said: “One of the roles of the airline, from its start-up, has been to promote Dubai as a tourist and commercial destination; we believe the EAIFL will help strengthen the literary scene in Dubai, as well as attracting visitors to attend the festival.”

A key part of the festival will be Education Day. Some of the authors attending the Festival are expected to give lectures or talks to students at universities, colleges and schools in Dubai.

Dubai Cultural Council is also supporting the Festival and will help attract leading authors, poets and translators from the Arab World.