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It is also the Arab World’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word. The annual event in Dubai promotes books, reading and the richness of words in all its forms. It brings an appreciation and understanding of different cultures and the ways in which literature enhances all our lives. It also offers attendees a chance to meet local and world-famous authors, attend literary debates and workshops, participate in competitions. and be inspired by their literary heroes.
Launched in 2009, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has grown continually and now sees this celebration of literature entertain and educate tens of thousands of visitors across three locations for weekends filled with events and exhibitions.
The Festival is organised by the Emirates Literature Foundation, which was established by Royal Decree in 2013. It has been recognised for the impact it has had on promoting a reading culture in the UAE, and its extensive education outreach programme. It has also won many awards, including Best Festival in the Middle East three times.
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2022 returns to Dubai in February
This year’s Emirates Airline Festival of Literature being held from February 3-13 at the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City and Habtoor Palace Dubai, is all about this journey. The theme “Here Comes the Sun” reflects hope and optimism, aiming to offer fresh perspectives to take us forward.
The event, will see some of the world’s leading luminaries – in business, entrepreneurship, innovation, science, arts and culture, and science – come together to engage and inspire us.
These include entrepreneur, marketing expert and author Gary Vaynerchuck (GaryVee). He has penned six best-selling business books, including Crushing It, and more recently, Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success.
Vaynerchuck’s tips on how to succeed promise to be inspirational, as will the experiences of Indra Nooyi, former CEO and chairman of PepsiCo and Amazon board member. Ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women and admired for her strategic thinking and leadership, Nooyi’s talk will offer important lessons and great insights.
Robin Dunbar, the world-renowned anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist (who discovered Dunbar’s number – which states that our capacity for friendship is limited to around 150 people) is streaming into the festival virtually to discuss how important relationships, including friendships, affect our mental and physical wellbeing.
Washington-based journalist Sara Gay Forden, from Bloomberg News, will discuss how a handful of large corporations have achieved the power that they have, and what is actually being done by policymakers to rein them in.
Rowan Hooper, author of How to Spend a Trillion Dollars, will talk about different global problems we could address with just one per cent of the world’s GDP, and also if this solution offers the best return on investment for humanity.
Author, speaker, and behavioural and data scientist, Dr Pragya Agarwal, will dig deep to understand how unintentional and hidden biases affect the way we communicate and see the world, in a conversation about her book SWAY: Unravelling Unconscious Bias. This illuminating talk will highlight tact, statistics and stories to paint a full picture of the issue.
Former diplomat David Rundell will review his long career of diplomatic service in the Middle East. As a leading expert on Saudi Arabia, Rundell will discuss his book Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads, for more insights on the kingdom.
Best-selling novelists, including David Baldacci, Mark Billingham and Julia Quinn, and literary stars such as Brit Bennett and David Grossman will also grace the festival.
Children’s sessions will include Ben Miller’s charming stories, Rob Biddulph’s draw along stories and Polly Dunbar’s engaging tales for the little ones.
Additionally, don’t miss a chance to have Saturday Supper with Nadiya Hussain and an Italian feast with Italy’s most famous TV Chef Alessandro Borghese. You can also enjoy Charles Dickens’ 210th birthday at Miss Havisham’s Wedding, and the signature event, Desert Stanzas, showcasing poetry recitations from world-renowned poets – in a desert camp with first class Emirati hospitality.