Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature?
  2. The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (Emirates LitFest) is a celebration of literature in all its forms. As the Middle East’s largest annual literary festival, it offers residents and overseas visitors the opportunity to meet famous authors, attend literary debates, listen to readings and participate in workshops. Attendees can also enjoy the many free Fringe activities that are held as part of the festival.

  3. What languages are spoken in Emirates LitFest sessions?
  4. The majority of our sessions are conducted in either Arabic or English, while some panel sessions may feature speakers of both languages. There is simultaneous translation in all main programme events so, for example, English-speakers can still enjoy an Arabic session simply by collecting a headset as they enter the room. A handful of sessions are also conducted in other languages, in which case translation into both Arabic and English will be available.

    Language guidance is given on the web page for each session so that when you book you know which language you can expect to hear.

  5. When will the 2012 Festival take place?
  6. The 2012 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will take place over five days days, 6-10 March.

  7. How many authors have signed up to take part in Emirates LitFest 2012 so far?
  8. At time of writing 125 authors have signed up for the 2012 LitFest, representing 30 nationalities.

  9. What genres of writing will be represented by the authors who have signed up so far?
  10. The 2012 Festival will include sessions on cookery, travel, sport, horror, popular fiction, literary fiction, crime, graphics, poetry, politics, journalism, autobiography, biography, entertainment, screen-writing, adventure, translation, creative writing, philosophy, local history, folk history, art, Islamic Studies, fantasy and science fiction.

  11. Where will the Festival take place?
  12. The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is spread over a number of venues. The main part of the programme, and Education Day, will take place at the InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City. The Opening Ceremony and Opening Night will be held at the Theatre of the Dubai Cultural and Scientific Association in Al Mamzar. For more information about our venues click here.

    In 2011 the Festival also gained a permanent home at Dar Al Adaab (The House of Literature) in Bastakiya, Bur Dubai. Dar Al Adaab will host various festival events throughout the year. For more information about Dar Al Adaab, please click here.

  13. What can we expect to see over the 5 days of the Festival?
  14. Once again, there will be an Author Programme of talks, readings, interviews, debates and panel discussions led by bestselling international authors, along with cookery demonstrations, a Literary Lunch and Tea, and the return of the LitFest Grand Quiz. Opening Night (6 March) at the Al Mamzar Theatre will feature radio and television star Terry Wogan and performances from international poets Imtiaz Dharker, John Agard, Yang Lian and Daljit Nagra. On Heritage Night (7 March) David Nicholls and Mourid Barghouti will give talks inside our special 'heritage' venue on the banks of the creek at Dubai Festival City. From 8-10 March the Festival takes over the Event Centre at the InterContinental Hotel for the majority of author sessions.

    The workshop and masterclass programme (8-10 March), already selling out fast, features classes taught by top authors and instructors across a wide range of subjects. The free Fringe Festival (8-10 March) consists of musical and drama perfomances around the InterContinental.

  15. Will you be running another Students’ Writing Competition?
  16. The Festival ran three major competitions in 2011-12: the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition, the Boeing Readers' Cup Challenge and the Taaleem Poetry Award. All three are now closed to new entries, and winners will be announced during the Festival. Competitions for the 2013 Festival will be announced later in 2012.

  17. Tell me more about plans for Education Day in 2012
  18. In 2012 Education Day is moving to the InterContinental Hotel Event Centre, and is expanding to cover two days (7-8 March). Some authors will also be visiting schools.

  19. What activities are there for children?
  20. As well as the sessions for children and young adults in the main LitFest programme, the Time Out Kids Zone and Moorfields Challenge will both be returning for 2012, offering free, fun and educational events on the weekend of 9-10 March. You can find out more about children's authors and events here.

  21. How and where do I get tickets?
  22. Buy your tickets online at Tickets are also available in-store at WH Smith, Oasis Centre (ground floor), Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tickets will also be available from our box office at the InterContinental Hotel Events Centre during the Festival.

  23. Where can I buy the authors' books?
  24. Kinokuniya is the official bookseller for the 2012 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. They will be selling the authors' titles on site throughout the Festival, as well as stocking their books in their shop at Dubai Mall - so you can start reading up now!
    Telephone: +971 4 434 0111

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