More big names for Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2013
Shashi Tharoor, Ben Okri, Ahlem Mosteghanemi and 20 more confirm participation
18 December 2012: Literary giants Shashi Tharoor, Ben Okri, Ahlem Mosteghameni, Simon Sebag Montefiore and William Dalrymple will all take part in the Fifth anniversary edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Festival organisers today confirmed their participation as well as that of 20 more world class writers and speakers.
Also joining the roster are the world famous cookery writer Antonio Carluccio, comedian and scientist Ben Miller, French crime writer Maxime Chattam, children’s author Dominique de Saint-Mars and an exceptional line-up of local and locally based writers and speakers including Kamal Abdel-Malek, Dubai Abulhoul, Omnia Amin, Dherar Belhoul, Frank Dullaghan, Patricia Al Fakhri, Manal Al Ghani Liz Fenwick, Khulood Al Hajiri, Suzanne Husseini, Anne Love, Hermoine Macura, Charney Magri, Alexander McNabb, Abdulla Al Nuaemi, Dr Ali Rashid Al Nuaemi, Kaltham Saleh, Hind Shoufani and Ali Al Suweidi
This announcement brings the tally of authors up to more than 100 following on from last month’s announcement of some 80 guest authors including Ian Rankin, Dan Rather, Anupam Kher, Shohbaa Dé, Ken Hom, Antony Beevor, Artemis Cooper, Anthony Horowitz and many, many other household names.
‘This is our fifth anniversary and we want to make sure everyone remembers this as the one which redefines what a LitFest should be. The line-up is quite frankly a dream. We will welcome an extraordinary wealth of talent from all genres and parts of the world and I defy anyone not to find something to enjoy and savour,” said Festival Director Isobel Abulhoul.
The 2013 Festival takes place 5-9 March 2013 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts and heritage.
The five day Festival offers around 200 events comprising panel discussions, lectures, in conversation sessions, workshops, masterclasses, a Fringe Festival, the Time Out Kids Zone and - new for 2013 - special evening events every night. These include a star-studded Opening Night, a Murder Mystery Dinner with crime writers, Desert Stanzas – a poetry night in a Bedu encampment - the Lighter Side - an evening of wit and storytelling - and a Closing Ceremony.
Also new for 2013 is the Public Area Events programme including three major happenings. These are Roger McGough’s and Mark Cockram’s Dubai Doors Project, a project in partnership with and commissioned by Dubai Culture, comprising poetry, painting and collaborations with Emirati Artists; Robert Crowther’s Icons of Dubai paper-engineering displays; and Korky Paul’s free-standing mural project, which will commemorate the five years of the Festival.
Genres and topics featured at the Festival include: Animation, Art, Biography, Bookbinding, Business, Calligraphy, Comedy, Cookery, Creative Writing, Crime Fiction, Current Events, Drama, Gardening, Historical Fiction, History, Illustration, Journalism, Language, Literary Agency, Literary Criticism, Literary Fiction, Mind Mapping, Poetry, Popular Fiction, Psychology, Science Fiction, Science, Screenwriting, Self-improvement, Sport and Travel.
The Festival is committed to encouraging participation in reading and writing by everyone and stages a number of competitions for students across the UAE, including the Taaleem Poetry Award and the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition. The reading competition, the Readers’ Cup, is now running across the Gulf.
This year for the first time, there is a writing competition for unpublished adult novelists – the Montegrappa First Fiction Award – which gives aspiring authors the chance to have their work evaluated by a leading literary agent and which offers a range of wonderful prizes, including a Montegrappa pen.
The preview programme will be online and tickets will go on sale to the general public on 21 January 2013 and will be available online and at Kinokuniya booksellers in Dubai Mall. However, members of the Festival Friends membership programme will be able to buy tickets at a preferential rate one week before, on 14 January 2013.
“I really urge people to sign up for the Festival Friends programme” said Isobel Abulhoul. “For a small fee, which goes to supporting the Festival, you get loads of benefits, including a chance to buy tickets before anyone else. And with so many events which are bound to be sell-outs this year this is a real advantage.”
“And what better way to give your friends and family the chance to enjoy a unique experience –why not give them a membership too?” she said.
About the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together with authors from across the world to promote education, debate and above all else, love of reading and writing.
The Festival creates a wonderful opportunity for UAE nationals, residents and visitors to meet world famous authors, attend literary debates, listen to readings, participate in workshops and experience the exciting fringe and children’s events. With simultaneous translation between Arabic and English for all sessions, the Festival is a meeting of minds where ideas are shared and friendships are formed – not least among the authors themselves.
The 2013 Festival will be held March 5-9, 2013 at The Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City.
The LitFest also hosts a regular series of literary events during the Winter months (October-April) at its home – Dar Al Adaab (House of Literature) in Al Fahidi Historic Area under the banner The Dar Al Adaab Open Door Series.
For all information and updates about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature visit the website: www.emirateslitfest.com
Emirates, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, have received more than 500 international awards and accolades for excellence. Emirates flies to 128 destinations in 74 countries across six continents. Operating 191 wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft, including an industry leading 28 A380s, Emirates has orders for an additional 209 aircraft, worth more than USD$62 billion. For more information please visit www.emirates.com
About Dubai Culture & Arts Authority:
The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) was launched on March 8, 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Dubai Culture plays a critical part in achieving the vision of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 of establishing the city as vibrant, global Arabian metropolis that shapes culture and arts in the region and the world.
The organisation has announced several initiatives that strengthen the historic and modern cultural fabric of Dubai. These include: The Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Awards: The first of its kind initiative in the Arab world honouring individuals and organisations who have made financial or in kind contributions through sustained support to visual arts, performing arts, literature and film in the region; Sikka Art Fair: An annual art fair aimed at promoting Emirati and local artists in the UAE; Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre: An annual festival that celebrates and fosters the art of theatre in the UAE; and Dubai Next: To encourage and sponsor initiatives that contribute actively to the development of the cultural events and activities in Dubai.