In an unprecedented move, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has released the names of 12 authors who will be attending the 2016 Festival ahead of the announcement of the final line up in October. Over the coming months, more names will follow as the excitement builds to a crescendo.
‘At our inaugural Festival in 2009, we had a total of 65 authors participating,’ said Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. ‘But today, with our eighth Festival still another eight months away, we already have more than 65 authors confirmed. The popularity and esteem in which the Festival is held is most heartening. Authors who have attended previously have become ambassadors, spreading the word across the four corners of the globe.
‘With the tremendous support and guidance of our title sponsor Emirates Airline and our partners Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, we have built on our solid foundations and remained true to the original vision which came from HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, our Patron. The Emirates Literature Foundation, under the Chairmanship of HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum has been able to keep a strong focus on attracting young people to attend, and highlighting the Arabic segment of the huge international programme,’ she concluded.
Literary enthusiasts will be particularly excited to learn that Helen MacDonald, winner of the 2014 Costa Book Award for her bestselling book H is for Hawk, will be here. Acclaimed British personalities, including UK’s Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, philosopher A.C. Grayling, and Professor Tim Spector, author of Identically Different and the best-selling The Diet Myth, will also be flying in.
Festival favorite crime writer Ian Rankin will be returning with another Detective Rebus mystery, while Anthony Horowitz, a prolific author who has turned his hand to write the latest James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, is also very popular with younger festival-goers who are fans of his ‘Alex Rider’ series.
Best-selling Emirati counselor and coach Hala Kazim, historical fiction writer Conn Iggulden, and eminent investigative journalist Dan Rather will all be returning to packed audiences next year.
2016 will also feature Suad Amiry, author of Sharon and my Mother-in-Law and Nothing to Lose But Your Life: An 18-Hour Journey with Murad, and Anchee Min, celebrated author of best-selling memoirs and historical novels about China.
At the heart of the Festival has always been its children’s programme. The Festival can confirm that Petr Horacek, paper engineer and illustrator of numerous children’s books including The Mouse Who Ate the Moon and the recent A Surprise for Tiny Mouse, will be one of the many children’s authors coming to Dubai in 2016.
‘So, that is the first group of names,’ said Isobel Abulhoul. ‘Why twelve you may ask? The theme for 2016 is ‘Time’, so twelve made perfect sense! Shortly, the Festival will release the next twelve names of attending writers, who will be here from 8th to 12th March 2016.’
The Festival aims to foster a love of reading in the Emirates. With its continued success, it has encouraged and increased the numbers of readers and writers, and is fast becoming one of the key global literary events on the annual calendar.
List of authors announced by Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
Suad Amiry : Author of ‘Nothing to Lose But Your Life: An 18-Hour Journey with Murad’.
Carol Ann Duffy: One of Britain’s most admired poets and current UK Poet Laureate, best known for the critically-acclaimed ‘The World’s Wife’.
AC Grayling: Eminent philosopher known for his books on morality, religion and humanism.
Petr Horacek: Paper engineer and illustrator of numerous colourful picture books including ‘The Mouse Who Ate the Moon’ and the recent ‘A Surprise for Tiny Mouse’.
Anthony Horowitz: Best-known for the ‘Alex Rider’ series and ‘Foyle’s War’, he has written two new Sherlock Holmes novels and his latest book is a new James Bond, ‘Trigger Mortis’.
Conn Iggulden: Author of acclaimed historical fiction – most recently ‘Stormbird’ and ‘Trinity’, set in the Wars of the Roses – as well as his bestselling series on Genghis Khan.
Hala Kazim: Emirati counselor and coach, founder of ‘My Private Collection’ and ‘Journey Through Change’.
Helen MacDonald: Author of the bestselling memoir ‘H is for Hawk’, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize and 2014 Costa Book Award.
Anchee Min: Author of two best-selling memoirs, ‘Red Azalea’ and ‘The Cooked Seed: A Memoir’ and six historical novels about China.
Ian Rankin: Author of the hugely successful Inspector Rebus series of Edinburgh-based thrillers.
Dan Rather: Highly-regarded veteran journalist known for his coverage of major world events for CBS, now heading up an investigative journalism team for ‘Dan Rather Reports’ and author of ‘Rather Outspoken’.
Tim Spector: Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, Director of the TwinsUK Registry and author of ‘Identically Different’ and the bestselling ‘The Diet Myth’.
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. Writing competitions, an inter-school quiz and a performance poetry competition are among the educational highlights, and young people also have the chance to hear and meet some of their favorite writers. With simultaneous translation between Arabic and English for select sessions, the Festival is a meeting of minds where ideas are shared and friendships are formed – not least among the authors themselves.
The Festival has become an eagerly anticipated annual event and in 2015 welcomed more than 130 writers, thinkers and speakers from 30 countries. More than 37,000 visitors attended the Festival which had over 200 one-off sessions and unique events to be experienced and enjoyed in a program designed for wide appeal, with something to suit every taste.
The 2016 Festival will be held March 8-12, 2016 at the Inter Continental 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 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 in 2013 by Royal decree. For all information and updates about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature visit the website.