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, in which case translation into both Arabic and English will be available.
Language guidance is given on the web page for each session so that when you book you know which language you can expect to hear.
3. When will the 2014 Festival take place?
The 2014 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will take place over five days days, 4-8 March.
4. How many authors have signed up to take part in Emirates LitFest 2014 so far?
At time of writing more than 90 have signed up for the 2014 LitFest, with more being signed up throughout the summer.
5. What genres of writing will be represented by the authors who have signed up so far?
The 2014 Festival will include sessions on a wide range of topics and genres, which will be revealed in autumn 2014.
6. 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.
7. 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 (4-8 March) consists of musical and drama perfomances around the InterContinental. The full programme will be revealed in late 2013.
8. Will you be running any writing competitions in 2014?
The Festival ran four major competitions in 2012-13: the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition, the Chevron Readers’ Cup , the Taaleem Poetry Award and the Montegrappa First Fiction Award for first-time adult novelists. The Story Writing Competition and the Poetry Award are now open to submissions, while in September the First Fiction Award opens for entries and we begin accepting team registrations for the Readers’ Cup.
The title for the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition is Between Hello and Goodbye, which was chosen by children’s author Geraldine McCaughrean during the 2013 Festival. The Taaleem Poetry Award will take the Festival theme of metamorphosis as its title.
9. Tell me more about plans for Education Day in 2014
Education days will be on 5-6 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 email@example.com for details.
10. 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 2014, offering free, fun and educational events on the weekend of 7-8 March. More information about the children’s programme will be revealed in late 2013.
11. Who can perform at the Fringe?
There are opportunities for groups and individuals to perform at the Fringe events. Please contact us for more details.
12. How and where do I get tickets?
Buy your tickets online at tickets.emirateslitfest.com from mid-January 2014. Tickets will also be available from Dar Al Adaab and select WH Smith bookshops, and from our box office at the InterContinental Hotel Events Centre during the Festival.
13. Where can I buy the authors’ books?
WH Smith is the official bookseller for the 2014 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 WH Smith shops will be selling Emirates LitFest tickets from January 2014. More information to follow.