Isobel Abulhoul was honoured with the Cultural Personality Award, presented to her by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah Image Credit: MEGAN HIRONS MAHON/Gulf News

Dubai: Co-founder of Magrudy’s bookshop chain and the Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Isobel Abulhoul, has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in a ceremony held on New Year’s Eve 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.

Abulhoul joins a prestigious list of artists, entertainers and business people who have contributed significantly to British culture and heritage around the world. This year she was joined by entertainer Ronnie Corbett, actress Helena Bonham Carter, and professional golfers Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.

Abulhoul, who arrived in the UAE more than 40 years ago, is no stranger to awards. In 2011 she was presented with the Cultural Personality Award by His Highness Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, during the Sharjah Book Fair.