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Tickets for Emirates Airline Festival of Literature go on sale

Posted on 23 January 2014 by Alice

DUBAI, 20 January 2014:

Tickets for the 2014 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will go on sale to the public on Tuesday, January 21 at WHSmith outlets in Dubai Mall (lower-ground level),

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Oasis Centre Mall, Marina Mall and Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi and online at

The Festival will take place in Dubai from 4 to 8 March 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 and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage. The Festival is now part of the Emirates Literature Foundation, which was established last year by Royal decree.

Festival Director Isobel Abulhoul said of the programme, “We look forward to welcoming more than 150 authors, celebrities and speakers from around the world who are attending the Festival this year. During five packed days, festival goers can choose from around 300 sessions covering a wide variety of genres and topics including women’s issues, journalism, history, biography as well as workshops and masterclasses on writing, illustration and self-help, plus, very importantly,

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a chance to meet your favourite authors and discover new ones too. Tickets are already selling out fast to the Festival Friends, so we are expecting a packed Festival.”

The LitFest will be holding the Festival Prologue, a series of creative writing workshops, on the weekend before the Festival, on February 28 and March 1. The Prologue includes fiction writing, script-writing and paper-sculpting workshops by Sherry Ashworth, Mohammed Achaari, Anjum Malik and Dave Wood. The Festival begins with a grand Opening Ceremony, to be held in Al Mamzar, with Paddy Ashdown, Pam Ayres, Jeremy Paxman and Tim Rice in conversation with Riz Khan. The following evening offers a majestic treat for poetry-lovers with the return of Desert Stanzas, a night of poetry and music Nestled in the sand dunes. The second Desert Stanzas will feature UAE poets Khalid Albudoor and Khulood Al Mu’alla, who will be joined by former UK Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, Berlin-based slam poet Frank Klötgen, Lemn Sissay, the official poet of the London 2012 Olympics and international Chinese poet, novelist and painter Yan Li. The poets will recite their works in a fabulous desert setting accompanied by authentic Arabic fare. Sessions start on Thursday with the Female Focus morning, followed by the massively popular Murder Mystery Dinner, a light-hearted dinner where would-be sleuths have the chance to solve a crime with the help of authors.

A brand new event, Friday Rhythms, makes its debut on Friday night. The evening of poetry and music includes a rock/poetry fusion performance by LiTTLe MaCHiNe among others. Closing Night brings together authors and participants to celebrate the Festival past and to look forward to 2015. New for this year is the Literary Idol, a cross between Dragon’s Den and Pop Idol, where writers can anonymously have their work critiqued by a panel of experts. Another new event is Big Ideas, where authors take the stage to talk about a subject of their choosing. A number of exciting masterclasses and workshops will once again be part of the programme with subjects ranging from writing picture books (Vivian French) and writing memoir and biography (Raja Shehadeh and DJ Taylor), workshops on Arabic Script-writing by Mohammed Hassan, poetry workshops by Frank Klötgen and LiTTLe MaCHiNe along with Mariam Al Saedi’s creative writing workshop in Arabic.

The Festival will once again have the Penguin Fringe for children and adults, the Penguin Reading Garden and the Timeout Kids’ Zone. New this year will be a calligraphy exhibition with works by Mourad Boutros, Hassan Massoudy and Dave Wood. The full author line-up, programme and tickets are available online at

Tickets can be purchased in person at WH Smith. The Festival operates a dedicated membership scheme called Festival Friends which offers discounts on tickets as well as benefit packages.

For more details of the Festival please visit Join us on Facebook (, Twitter (, Instagram ( and YouTube ( for competitions and more updates.

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