Dubai: The closing chapter of the Emirates Festival of Literature was filled with book purchases, author interactions, and student awards on Saturday.

The festival’s fifth edition drew to a close at the Intercontinental Hotel at Dubai Festival City, where the main sessions were held.

Visitors, authors, organisers and the team behind the event got together for the closing on Saturday night. A video showing this year’s highlights was shown for this free event open to all.

This year’s theme was Heroes and Villains and best-selling authors explored ancient themes of good and evil in their stories and characters. There were sessions dedicated to contemporary developments and children’s interests as well.

Book sales and book signing ceremonies were huge draws as they offered fans the opportunity to meet their favourite authors. Over 100 writers from some 30 countries participated, attracting an estimated 30,000 visitors, organisers said.

It was announced during the festival that the Emirates Literature Foundation was to be established with a share capital of Dh18.7 million.

There were more than 150 multilingual debates, workshops, exhibitions and performances during the five-day event which started on Tuesday.

International best-selling novelists, media personalities, social commentators and a host of other specialists and stars from the world of literature graced the occasion. There were family events with cooking and comedy themes, dining and entertainment options as well.

On Saturday, winners of a poetry contest were announced at an awards ceremony. Sponsored by Taalem education group, the poetry writing competition saw 600-plus submissions in Arabic and English. The best entries are being published in dual language books. The prizes also included trophies and books signed by authors and tickets to sessions.

Meanwhile, winners of the Oxford University Press Story Writing competition were also revealed. This year’s topic Seeking The Truth encouraged a total of over 1,000 entries in English and Arabic covering different age groups with the best entries also getting published in dual language books.