One of the most anticipated events of the year is returning to Dubai.

Set to be spread across two weekends in February, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is bringing speakers, novelists and inspiring entrepreneurs to share their stories in the UAE.

From Julia Quinn to Indra Nooyi, these sought-after personalities are all set to bring an unmissable experience to the heart of Dubai.

With just a few weeks to go to the highly-anticipated annual event, here’s everything you need to know.



The Emirates LitFestival will take place at Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City and Habtoor Palace Hotel.


Tickets are priced at Dhs40 for children’s sessions and Dhs65 for the adult sessions which are available here. Those who wish to attend the event virtually can do so with the new digital pass that’s priced at Dhs100.


The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is all set to take place from February 3 to 13, 2022.


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Must-try activations

For all the foodies, famous TV chef Alessandro Borghese will host a lavish Italian feast for guests visiting. Meanwhile, the UK’s former Great British Bake Off winner and chef Nadya Hussain will host a Saturday supper spread. There will also be an evening of poetry performances and first-class Emirati hospitality.

On Monday, February 7 at 7pm, a three-course dinner in celebration of Charles Dickens’ 210th birthday will be held at Miss Havisham’s Wedding, with his great-great-great-granddaughter, Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, who will share insights into the great author’s life and his most iconic character, the woman scorned.

The same week, on Saturday 12 February at 3pm, Sarah Gay Forden, the author of House of Gucci, will bring the ultimate behind-the-scenes insight into the real, yet unbelievable, story of the Italian fashion house.



Wildly popular fictions writers will include Julia Quinn, author of Bridgerton; Lucy Foley, author of The Hunting Party; Mark Billingham, who brings his most recent novel, Rabbit Hole; David Baldacci, whose first-ever novel Absolute Power was turned into a movie with Clint Eastwood and has gone on to write 40+ global bestsellers since; and many more. Taking part in diverse sessions, solo talks and panel discussions, they will entertain as they share their experiences on the bumpy author roads, and the stories behind the stories we know.


By delving into a world of illusions and contemporary art, several popular names will share their take on how artists are evolving and where they take their inspiration from. With anime gaining quite a bit of momentum, Ken Arto, the illustrator of Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen will bring his knowledge on the subject to the table. Anime and manga artist Fumio Obata, will also share his expertise in storytelling through art. An interesting session aims to demystify contemporary art, conducted by Jessica Cerasi, assistant curator at Guggenheim, the Abu Dhabi project.

Out-of-the-box sessions

The programme is designed for the audience to think differently. From Ex PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi to entrepreneur Gary Vaynechuck sharing his insights into the world of entrepreneurship, everyone visiting can learn through these inciteful sessions and delve into topics that are of best interest to them. Other renowned names such as award-winning editor, Raphael Cormack and comedian Jenny Lawson, will also be sharing their stories.

COVID-19 guidelines

English literature festival

All those who attend must adhere to certain guidelines and restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. Facemasks are mandatory at all times including during sessions and all attendees are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative result from a PCR test taken within the 72 hours, with social distancing to be maintained strictly.


For aspiring creatives, the Festival will see the culmination of several competitions across the space of two weeks. It will include the Emirates NBD Poetry for All, Chevron Readers’ Cup, the OUP Story Writing Competition, Voices of Future Generations book launch, First Chapter: ELF Seddiqi Writers’ Fellowship and the RGS Guildford Dubai Children’s Letter Writing Competition, to ensure that talent within the region is duly awarded.

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Images: Supplied & Feature Image: Pexels @kaboompi