Inside the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2013

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Leading Authors and personalities such as Jeffery Archer (left) and Shashi Tharoor will be participating in the 2013 Festival
Leading Authors and personalities such as Jeffery Archer (left) and Shashi Tharoor will be participating in the 2013 Festival

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word. Hermoine Macura explains what visitors can expect at this years event.

Literary giants Shashi Tharoor, Ben Okri, Ahlem Mosteghanemi, Simon Sebag Montefiore and William Dalrymple will all take part in the Fifth anniversary edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

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, Suzanne Husseini, Anne Love, Hermoine Macura, Charney Magri, Alexander McNabb, Abdulla Al Nuaemi, Dr Ali Rashid Al Nuaemi, Kaltham Saleh and Ali Al Suweidi.

Featuring more than 100 authors 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 from the 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.

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.

This year for the first time, there is a also 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.

Hermoine Macura is the first Australian female English speaking TV News Anchor in the Middle East, and also one of the area’s most recognized faces. Prior to establishing Straight Street Media in 2012, Hermoine was one of the main Anchor’s on Dubai One TV’s Emirates News. Her first book, FACES OF THE MIDDLE EAST was published in 2010.

Faces of the Middle East by Hermoine Macura

FACES OF THE MIDDLE EAST is a book that aims to introduce the various ethnic and social groups who reside throughout the Middle East, proof that this part of the world is not, as many in the West mistakenly believe, a monolithic culture.

Neither a definitive story nor a political statement, FACES OF THE MIDDLE EAST, is the culmination of more then seven years of Photojournalism that documents the existence and rich diversity present in the region.

Order a copy online at



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