Isobel Abulhoul awarded the Order of the British Empire in New Year Honours List

Wednesday, 4 January, 2012

Isobel Abulhoul, Director – Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, co-founder of Magrudy’s bookshop chain and founder of Jerboa book publishers, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in a ceremony held on 31st December, 2011 in London.

Isobel Abulhoul was honoured by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her years of service to education and British literature in the UAE.

Isobel was also presented with the Cultural Personality Award by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, last year during the Sharjah Book Fair.

With the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature now in its fourth year, Isobel has successfully positioned the region, and more specifically the UAE, as a social and cultural hub, where hundreds of authors from around the world come to take part in the festival.

The children’s writing competitions and new talent development included in the festival reflect Isobel’s passion for literature, and show how education is her top priority. Her goal to promote a love of reading and writing has been obvious over the years, and is reflected in every aspect of her work.

“Parents shape  and mould us in our early years, and  I have to wholeheartedly thank my dear late parents, for passing on to me, in full measure, their love of books, and the belief that  each of us can and should make a difference in the world about us, no matter how small”, said Isobel Abulhoul.

She added: “I am very lucky to be so honoured, and so fortunate to work with a wonderful team of individuals who ensure that the Literary Festival brings celebration and enjoyment to a huge number of people each year, enriching the cultural environment of this wonderful city of Dubai.”

With her induction to the Order of the British Empire, she joins a prestigious list of Britons who have contributed significantly to British culture and heritage, including her fellow new inductees Ronnie Corbett (entertainer), Helena Bonham Carter (actress) and professional golfers Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.

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 2012 Festival will be held between 6-10 March 2012, at The Cultural and Scientific Association, Al Mamzar.

For more information please contact:

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
Tel No: 04 353 4002


Taghreed Oraibi
Ketchum RAAD Middle East
Account Manager
Direct Line: 04 4258994
Mob: 050 7943528

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