Complete guide to emirates airline festival of literature 2023

Complete guide to emirates airline festival of literature 2023

In Dubai, the beginning of the year is always an exciting time. While there are numerous annual events and festivals to look forward to, book lovers are counting down the days until the Emirates Literature Festival 2023.

The Emirates Festival of Literature is also known as the Dubai Literature Festival, the Emirates Lit Fest, the Dubai Lit Fest, and the Emirates Literature Festival. Whatever name you choose, one thing is certain: the festival is an epic celebration of literature, creativity, writers, and readers.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the popular festival, which means the festivities will be even bigger and better than usual! Find out everything you need to know about one of Dubai’s most important annual events and festivals, including dates, venues, participating authors, and how to get tickets.

About the Emirates Airline Literature Festival 2023

The 15th edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai will feature the theme “Old Friends.” This festival is one of the world’s most prestigious international literary events, combining an exclusive lineup of literary workshops and debates, performances, and panel discussions with well-known local and international authors.

The festival hopes to instill in the community a love of reading and writing literature. The Emirates Lit Fest, which began in 2009, has grown from humble beginnings to become an enormously popular literary event that is eagerly anticipated by residents and visitors each year.

There are also numerous popular Emirates Literature Festival competitions for adults and children in a variety of categories, including story writing, poetry performances, letter writing, and more. To learn about the deadlines and requirements for all competitions, go to the Emirates Lit Fest website. During the festival, there will be award ceremonies.

Dates and Location of the 2023 Emirates Lit Fest

From February 1 through February 6, 2023, the festival will be held at the Intercontinental in Festival City and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library. Speakers and audiences will be shuttled between the two locations for seminars, workshops, and other literary events using an ABRA service.

Dubai Emirates Literature Festival Authors

At the Emirates Literature Festival, visitors can expect to meet a diverse range of local, regional, and international authors, activists, thinkers, and icons!

This year, it will feature nearly 50 different nationalities. Cecelia Ahern, best known for her novel PS, I Love You, and British-Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid are among the authors scheduled to appear at Emirates Lit Fest 2023.

Former festival favorites include best-selling novelists Jeffrey Archer and Alexander McCall Smith, Indian politician Shashi Tharoor, and comedian and children’s author David Walliams.

Debut novelists Bonnie Garmus, Bolu Babalola, Jo Browning Wroe, and Greg Mosse will also be present.

The star of the popular HBO series Succession, Emmy-winner Brian Cox, will also be in attendance. The screenwriter of Jurassic Park, David Koepp, will appear virtually and speak with viewers about how to write blockbuster movies and best-selling books.

Programme for the Emirates Literature Festival in 2023

This Dubai literary festival will feature talks, workshops, performances, panel discussions, and special events for adults and children. The majority of sessions will be in English or Arabic, with some in Malayalam and Filipino thrown in for good measure.

Events at the Emirates Literature Festival

Here are some of the most exciting Emirates Literature Festival events to attend in 2023.

The Last White Man, Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid encourages us to imagine a future and reconsider who we think we are and how we might still be together. Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Exit West are among the critically acclaimed novels by the British-Pakistani author. This fascinating discussion about his latest book, The Last White Man, will be moderated by Julia Wheeler.

  • Gold tickets are AED 75, while silver tickets are AED 60.
  • Date and Time: February 3, 2023, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • InterContinental Al Riwaq II, Dubai Festival City
  • English is the official language.

Letters to Ex-Colleagues        


Listen to what a writer writes to another writer or an “old friend,” followed by a larger discussion about the lost art of letter writing and the context of their letters.

Alexander McCall Smith, author of over 100 books, including the best-selling The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, will be on the panel, as will Cecelia Ahern, a writer, screenwriter, and film producer. There’s also Faye Brann, a writer of stories about and for women, and Sudha Murty, a bestselling author of books in a variety of genres, including children’s books, short stories, novels, technical books, and travelogues. This discussion is moderated by Fiona Lindsay.

Workshop with Hend Saeed on Translating Your Book from A to Z

Despite how easily books can be distributed around the world, cultural and linguistic differences continue to stymie their release in other languages. What must a writer understand when publishing work in multiple languages and countries?

In this session on the essential elements of publishing a best-seller abroad, literary agent Hend Saeed discusses everything from selling foreign and translation rights to the literary agent’s duty to protect the author.

David Walliams: The Worst Pets in the World

David Walliams will entertain you with stories about The World’s Worst Pets when you return to Dubai. A burglarizing budgie, a naughty bunny, Furp the monstrous goldfish, and a grizzly bear with a secret are among the entertaining pets whose antics will have you in fits of laughter at this event.

Cricket in Pakistan, according to Dr. Ali Khan

Cricket is more than just a sport in Pakistan; it is a source of intense passion, particularly when Pakistan is playing India.

In his book, Cricket in Pakistan: Nation, Identity, and Politics, Dr. Ali Khan investigates how cricket affects Pakistani culture, politics, and society, as well as how these social and political issues affect cricket.

The discussion will look at how cricket relates to other aspects of Pakistani culture, politics, identity, and international relations.

  • Tickets cost AED 60.

Festival Passes

These passes will ensure that you make the most of your time at the festival.

Spend a day or a weekend getting lost in new ideas, challenging your assumptions, letting your imagination run wild, and discovering the essence of what makes us all human.

There are a limited number of festival passes available on a first-come, first-served basis. The passes are priced starting at AED 199.

When it comes to finding like-minded people, book lovers can do so at any of Dubai’s wonderful public libraries. You can also meet other bibliophiles at well-known book clubs in Dubai.


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