Dubai: A literary feast is in store for next year’s Emirates Festival of Literature as organisers yesterday announced a sparkling author line-up for the 2014 event with an expansive programme covering a diverse range of subjects, styles and genres.

Now in its sixth year, the programme includes world-renowned writers, speakers and politicians who will converge on Dubai for what is recognised as one of the leading international literary festivals in the world.

Following its success in 2013, which saw it named as ‘Best Festival’ in the Middle East Events Awards, the festival will go forward for 2014 with a new name – now to be called the Emirates Festival of Literature (formerly Emirates Airline Festival of Literature).

More than 100 authors will be part of the event, which takes place from 4-8 March 2014 and is held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with title sponsor Emirates and the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).

The announcement of next year’s attending authors was made at a gala dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel, also the venue for the Festival, to an audience of authors, dignitaries, sponsors and partners.

“Emirates supports many events, both in Dubai and across the world. But this festival is particularly fitting for what we do every day — that is connecting people, cultures and minds across our vast six continent network. Each year, the festival produces a flurry of creativity, ideas and debates that buzz around Festival City and reverberate across Dubai. It is a true literary feast — and for anyone who has not been able to make the festival, I would strongly urge you to try this time,” said Shaikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations – Centre.

The theme for 2014 is “Metamorphosis,” which will be adopted throughout a range of sessions and panel discussions. Not only is it one of the great motifs that shape story-telling, it will be used to explore change in all its many forms, creatively, physically and intellectually.

Isobel Abulhoul OBE, Festival Director, said “the theme is very apt for next year, and after winning the wonderful accolade of Best Festival, we continue to evolve.”

The 2014 Festival which has become an eagerly anticipated annual event will welcome more than 120 writers, thinkers and speakers from 25 countries. It is expected that 30,000+ visitors will attend the Festival

The programme also includes sessions from poet Pam Ayres and former UK poet laureate Andrew Motion.

Dr Salah Al Qassim, Advisor to the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said: “Building on Dubai Government’s strategy of supporting the growth of arts and culture industry, as one of the founding supporters of the LitFest, Dubai Culture has seen the initiative grow from strength-to-strength, creating a genuine appreciation for the written word among audiences from across the region,”

He said the sixth edition of the LitFest, which will set the stage for the world’s foremost authors, will once again reinforce Dubai’s credentials as a world-class events destination, while supporting the vision of the Emirate to become one of the world’s most sought-after cultural and artistic destinations.”


Tickets will go on sale from January 20, 2014, with Festival Friends having exclusive access one week in advance on January 13. Tickets will be on sale on-line at and will also be available from the Festival Bookseller WH Smith’s selected outlets.