Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature?
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.
2. What languages are spoken in Emirates LitFest sessions?
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 may also be conducted in other languages, with translation available. Previous years have featured speakers of Chinese, French and German.
Language guidance is given on the web page for each session so that when you book you know which language(s) you can expect to hear.
3. When will the 2015 Festival take place?
The 2015 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will take place over five days , 3-7 March.
4. How many authors will take part in Emirates LitFest 2015?
More than 150 authors and speakers took part in the 2014 LitFest; we anticipate similar numbers for 2015.
5. Where will the Festival take place?
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. A number of special events are planned to be held off-site. 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 the Al Fahidi Historic Area, Bur Dubai. Dar Al Adaab will host various festival events throughout the year. For more information about Dar Al Adaab, please click here.
6. What can we expect to see over the 5 days of the Festival?
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, literary lunches and more. The workshop and masterclass programme will feature classes taught by top authors and instructors across a wide range of subjects. The free Fringe Festival (3-7 March) consists of musical and drama perfomances around the InterContinental. The full programme will be revealed in early 2015.
7. Will you be running any writing competitions in 2015?
The Festival ran five major competitions in 2013-14: the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition, the Chevron Readers’ Cup , the Taaleem Poetry Award, the The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center Qasidah Par Coeur Competition and the Montegrappa First Fiction Award for first-time adult novelists. All are now closed and the winners have been announced; all are currently expected to return for 2014-2015. Award ceremonies for each competition will be held at the Festival.
8. Tell me more about plans for Education Day in 2015
Education days will be on 4-5 March 2014, and events will take place at the InterContinental Hotel Event Centre, Festival City. Some authors will also visit schools. If your school would like to participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
9. What activities are there for children?
As well as the sessions for children and young adults in the main LitFest programme, the Time Out Kids’ Zone will be returning for 2015, offering free, fun and educational events on the weekend of 6-7 March. The Penguin Fringe, expanded in 2014 to include events in the Festival Centre as well as the InterContinental Hotel, will offer many free activities for children.
More information about the children’s programme will be revealed in late 2014.
10. Who can perform at the Penguin Fringe?
There are opportunities for groups and individuals to perform at Penguin Fringe events. Please contact us for more details.
11. How and where do I get tickets?
Tickets will be available online from early January 2015. Tickets will also be available from Dar Al Adaab and select WHSmith bookshops, and from our box office at the InterContinental Hotel Events Centre during the Festival.
For detailed information on how and where to buy tickets, visit our guide.
12. Where can I buy the authors’ books?
WHSmith is the official bookseller for the 2015 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. They will be selling the authors’ titles on site throughout the Festival, as well as stocking their books – so you can start reading up now! In addition, select WHSmith shops will be selling Emirates LitFest tickets (see above).
13. How can I find out more about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature?
The best way to get breaking news about the Festival is to sign up for our newsletter. The newsletter goes out monthly throughout the year and more frequently in the immediate run-up to the Festival and contains news, recommended sessions, competition dates and anything else that may be of interest.
To learn more about our authors, subscribe to our blog, which features updates from past, present and future authors about what they’re doing now and what they’re writing next. By tuning in to Talking of Books on Dubai Eye 103.8 every Saturday you can also hear more about what’s happening in the Festival and in the world of books generally.