IN PARTNERSHIP: It’s that time of year to get your literary fix – and after a pretty horrible year, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has got wonderful treats in store with literary icons, the hottest new novelists, a Bollywood goddess and an international hero who has inspired the world with her courage.

Nobel prize winner and activist Malala, and author Elif Shafak are among the top names announced by for the 2021 event (29 January – 13 February) featuring an unmissable programme with live and virtual sessions embracing literature, art, film, food and performance.

The incomparable Malala will be in Dubai to tell her story and her vision for the future, while Shafak, one of the most influential novelists writing today, best known for Forty Rules of Love, will be exploring her writing and the importance of bridging the gap between the East and West.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Elif Şafak Elif Shafak (@shafakelif)

Avni Doshi, whose debut novel Burnt Sugar was shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, will be comparing notes on the journey to get published with Derek Owusu whose own debut work, That Reminds Me, has also received international acclaim.

One of the most talked-about books last year, London-based author, pop culture writer, commentator and self-confessed “romcomisseur” Bolu Babalola breathes new life into mythical love stories and folk tales from around the world. Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut novel, Lagos noir My Sister the Serial Killer was shortlisted for a host of awards and oozes sharp, dark humour.

Author and screenwriter Satyarth Nayak will be celebrating the phenomenon of Bollywood star Sridevi: The Eternal Screen Goddess, hailed as the first pan-Indian female superstar, looking at her rise from child star to one of the greatest movie luminaries who changed the narrative of Indian cinema.

The latest health and well-being advice enables you to live your best life, including a panel considering the dangers of the anti-facts movement. With fearmongering, disinformation and dangerous conspiracy theories drowning the science, our medical experts will take a scalpel to the mass of confusing data on topics from fad diets to the coronavirus outbreak considering.

“The biggest impact on your health is…with the simplest solution. It’s how we feed ourselves” is the advice from Dr Rupy Aujla with his all-new practical guide to take you on a culinary journey through food in medicine showing the medicinal benefits of eating well.

This year there are even more chances to get involved as the Festival is spread over three weekends with family-friendly literature and art-themed events and activities at Jameel Arts Centre and Alserkal Avenue, in addition to the Festival’s home, the InterContinental Dubai Festival City.

Tickets will be required for each session, including the free events, with prices starting at Dhs60 for adults, Dhs40 for a child.

The Festival will be fully compliant with all COVID-19 prevention regulations and guidelines.

See full details of the festival online. For the full list of authors, visit

– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram

Images: Supplied