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The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is an annual extravaganza for all the literati out there. The biggest of its kind in the Middle East, the festival offers visitors a unique chance to meet their favourite authors, immerse themselves in workshops of arts, literature, and creativity, and even participate in literary debates.

Graced by the presence of many eminent personalities, like Sir Chris Bonington and Hazza Al Mansoori in the past, it is an event every literature fanatic should attend at least once in their life.

Excited to attend the Festival this year? Read ahead to know more about it.

Dates and venues

With the literature festival marking its 15th year, you can await a great lineup of writers. The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will return the following year on Wednesday, February 1, through Friday, February 6, 2023. Old Friends, which Booloki describes as “a tribute to our old friends, our faithful friends, and the books that have given us company in good times and difficult times,” will be the festival’s theme for the anniversary.

In 2023, the festival will return to the area near Dubai Creek. Sessions will be hosted at its original location, the Intercontinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City, with some sessions also taking place at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library, an architectural masterpiece.


International authors

Alexander McCall Smith: A master storyteller and one of the world’s most prolific authors, his number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series has sold over twenty-five million copies.

Brian Cox: Golden Globe winner, Shakespearean actor and star of TV and film, currently starring as Logan Roy on HBO’s critically lauded series Succession will be at the festival sharing his real rags-to-riches life story.

Barkha Dutt: Dutt is of India’s well-known broadcast journalists and anchors with more than two decades of reporting experience. She is the founder-editor of Mojo Story, a digital news channel.

Cecelia Ahern: Multi-best-selling Irish novelist of PS, I Love YouWhere Rainbows End; and If You Could See Me Now.

James Fox: BAFTA-nominated broadcaster and art historian most notable for presenting documentaries on the history of art for BBC Four.

Jeffery Archer: Returning to the festival is one of the world’s bestselling authors. Archer’s international sales surpass 275 million copies and the author is guaranteed to be a hit at the festival.

Nathan Pyle: An American cartoonist and New York Times best-selling writer living in New York City. He is the creator of the popular webcomic Strange Planet.

Piyush Pandey: The Chairman of Global Creative and Executive Chairman of Ogilvy India will speak on his book Open House and will share his experiences in the advertising industry.

Local authors

HH Sheikha Latifa bint Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum: The daughter of the late His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the former Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the UAE’s Minister of Finance will be discussing her literary tribute.

Ali Al Saloom: The Emirati cultural tourism program presenter will be regaling audiences with tales of his travels across 100 countries.

Noura Masri: Masri is a self-taught Jordanian artist dubbed the female Picasso, will be at the festival for art fans.

Julia Johnson: Everyone’s favourite Dubai-based author, who has written a number of stories for children, will also return to the festival.

For the full list of authors, you can visit the official website of the Emirates Literature Festival.


In a special early bird anniversary deal that runs from November 15 to December 15, general session tickets will be discounted by 15%, with prices starting at AED 25. Additionally, an AED 199 Crystal pass that grants admission to the Green Room will be available.

Tickets can be booked here.

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