Mark February 4

SPONSORED: Emirates Airline Festival of Literature returns to Dubai next month bringing together a stellar line up of writers, including 12 inspiring female voices. 

Taking place between February 4-9 at InterContinental, Dubai Festival City, the busy schedule of talks will have something for every literally mind.

From an iconic conservationist, a space scientist, a woman living in the wilderness to writers of today’s most mind-blowing fiction, this is an opportunity for any bookworm or budding writer to get to know more than 160 thinkers behind some of the most hyped books that are on the shelves today.

Get to know some of the key authors confirmed for 12th instalment of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literatures.

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

Dr Jane Goodall

Real life Dr Dolittle, world’s foremost authority on chimpanzees, Dr Jane Goodall, can attribute her love for animals to the famed book by Hugh Lofting. At the event, she will share her life’s work and her educational project in the UAE: Roots & Shoots, an initiative to inspire individuals to protect the environment.

Nadiya Hussain

TV chef and a leading figure for the Muslim community in the UK, Nadiya Hussain has recently been awarded Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in Queen Elizabeth II 2020 New Year Honours. She will be presenting her biography Finding My Voice where she considers her roles as mother, Muslim, working woman and celebrity.

Jokha Alharthi

Fan of Celestial Bodies? Then you can’t miss Jokha Alharthi and her book that became the first Arabic novel to win the International Booker Prize.  This fascinating picture of traditional Omani society is also the first book by an Omani woman to be translated into English.


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Christina Dalcher

If you’re a fan of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian society of Gilead as portrayed in the Handmaid’s Tale, then you either had or need to read Christina Dalcher’s acclaimed novel Vox. A nightmarish vision of a future where women are forbidden from speaking more than 100 words a day. EW editors are fans!

Edna Adan Ismail

Surviving imprisonment and civil war to become the first female Foreign Minister of her country Edna Adan Ismail’s memoir tells us how she came to be known as the “The Muslim Mother Teresa”. She was Somaliland’s first midwife and has spent a life-time campaigning for better healthcare for women.

Onjali Rauf

Author of the award-winning Boy at the back of the class, Onjali Rauf,presents her latest thought-provoking book The Star Outside my Window which delicately explores friendship, hope and dealing with adversity. Onjali is also the founder of the NGO Making Herstory, a woman’s rights organisation tackling the abuse and trafficking of women and girls in the UK and beyond

Tayari Jones

Receiving the high praise from Barack Obama, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones was winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction and Oprah Book Club selection. This intriguing novel asks profound questions about love, racial injustice and a marriage interrupted.

Miriam Lancewood

Woman in the Wilderness is the astonishing story of Miriam Lancewood 10 year nomadic existence in New Zealand’s wild and stunning mountainous landscape, a fascinating insight into how she has learnt to hunt and forage for food and also what it takes to feel truly alive.

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

Fatima Bhutto (above)

Journalist and author Fatima Bhutto asks how far would you run to escape your life in her bestseller The Runaways, posing provocative questions on what attracts young people to extremism. Bhutto’s novel is not just about radicalisation, but the experiences of poverty, disaffection and alienation that precedes it.

Esi Edgyan

Inspired by a true story, Esi Edgyan’s Washington Black– a Man Booker finalist – is the extraordinary tale of an eleven-year-old slave finds himself pursuing a promise of freedom, Esi is recognised as one of the most important writers of her generation.

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Dr Maggie’s Grand Tour of the Solar System inspires a generation of children on the magnificence of outer space. TV presenter and space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock has overcome dyslexia to be leading academic and presenter of BBC’s much loved The Sky at Night.

Kate Humble

Advocating the joys and wonders of the simple act of walking, Kate Humble,BBC science and wildlife presenter and environmentalist recalls her year-long journey on foot in Thinking on My Feet.  The book is a heartfelt call for enhancing health and happiness, one step at a time.

Children’s sessions start from Dhs39, standard general adults sessions start from Dhs59. The Weekend Wonderland Pass gives you access to all general sessions (not including workshops, masterclasses or special events) for Dhs499, or you can buy a Freedom Friday or Super Saturday day pass for Dhs299 each.

All sessions, activations, and performances at The Festival Fringe, AlMajlis, and The Penguin Random House Story Corner are free to attend.

Book today, tickets are available from

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