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Frequently asked questions

What is the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature?

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (The Festival) 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.

The Festival, which is sponsored by Emirates Airlines, is organized by the Emirates Literature Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation with the mission to support and nurture literature within the community and the region.

What languages are spoken in Festival sessions?

The majority of our sessions are conducted in either Arabic or English, while some panel sessions may feature speakers of both languages. Simultaneous translation from Arabic to English (or vice versa) is available for selected sessions where appropriate. A handful of sessions may also be conducted in other languages, with translation available. Previous years have featured speakers of Chinese, French and German.

Language guidance is given on the web page for each session so that when you book you know which language(s) you can expect to hear.

When will the 2021 Festival take place?

The 2021 edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is spread across three weekends, starting from 29th January and ending on 13th February.

How many authors will take part in the 2021 Festival?

This year’s Festival will welcome more than 90 authors, including some big names from around the world and the best of the UAE’s homegrown talent.

Where will the Festival take place?

This year, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will be spread over three different venues, with each one hosting a range of events and sessions on a different weekend.

The Festival will begin at Jameel Arts Centre with sessions focusing on art and literature on 29-30 January, followed by the InterContinental Dubai Festival City for a big weekend full of sessions and author talks on 4-6 February, and conclude with a weekend of celebrating literature and creativity at Alserkal Avenue on 12-13 February.

For more information about our venues click here.

What can we expect to see at the Festival?

Once again, there will be talks, performances, special events, and panel discussions with bestselling international authors and local talent. Some authors may attend via live stream, if they are unable to attend in person. The full programme can be found here.

Will you be running any writing competitions in 2021?

Yes! For more information, please visit our competitions section here.

What is planned for the Education Days in 2021?

The 2021 edition of the Festival will not feature Education Days as it has in previous years. Instead, the Emirates Literature Foundation will be hosting a virtual “Student Edition” of the Festival, where schools will be able to purchase packages of education-focused author sessions in English, Arabic, or both for a one-time nominal fee and available digitally for a limited time.

Students will be able to send in questions to the authors in video form before 21 January 2021 for a chance to get them answered and featured in the sessions themselves. Learn more about the event and author line up for it here.

What activities are there for children?

Many of the sessions and other planned events at all three venues will be family-friendly and of interest to book lovers of all ages, in addition to some fantastic sessions and workshops for children of all ages.

How and where do I get tickets?

In keeping with COVID-19 guidelines, tickets for the 2021 edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will only be available online, with pre-assigned seating.

Seating for each of our sessions is limited and pre-assigned in blocks of one, two, three, and four to maintain social distancing. Buy your tickets quickly before they sell out!

Where can I buy the authors’ books?

Magrudy’s is the official bookseller for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. They will be selling the authors’ titles onsite throughout the Festival, and from the bookshops in the lead up to the Festival, so you can start reading now.

I would like to work or volunteer for Emirates LitFest. How do I apply?

The year-round LitFest team is quite compact but positions do occasionally become available as the festival grows. Job listings can be found here.

We also recruit a number of interns and volunteers each year to help with the running of the Festival. The main difference between interning and volunteering is that internships last from September to March and are full-time positions primarily aimed at recent graduates beginning their careers, while volunteers are recruited in greater numbers for the duration of the Festival itself and some of the run-up – volunteers can set their own schedule when they sign up.

Details of internships can be found on our internships page.

Volunteers can register online through the volunteer application form.

How can I find out more about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature?

The best way to get breaking news about the Festival is to sign up for our newsletter. The newsletter goes out monthly throughout the year and more frequently in the immediate run-up to the Festival and contains news, recommended sessions, competition dates and anything else that may be of interest.

To learn more about our authors, subscribe to our blog, which features updates from past, present and future authors about what they’re doing now and what they’re writing next.

Finally, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news and competitions, and on YouTube, Instagram to see the latest developments.

How can I find out more about the Emirates Literature Foundation?

Please visit the Emirates Literature Foundation website to find out more about the organisation.

I have forgotten my password; what do I do?

If you have forgotten your password, visit https://www.emirateslitfest.com/my-account/  and click “Lost your password?”. Enter the email address that you have registered with. An email will be sent to you with a temporary password.

How do I unsubscribe from your newsletter?

At the bottom of each newsletter there will be a link to unsubscribe. Please click on the link. The cancellation of your subscription will be confirmed only when you have clicked on this link.

I can’t purchase tickets; how do I contact you?

For any ticket-related queries, please send an email to [email protected]

I would like to request a refund; how do I go about it?

Click here to view our refund policy before submitting a refund request at [email protected]

Is there a way I can guarantee getting tickets for the 2021 Festival?

Yes! Foundation Friends members will be able to purchase tickets to our upcoming sessions 24 hours before they go on sale to the general public, as well as 10% off all tickets. Learn more about how you can join here.

How can I find out more about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature?

The best way to get breaking news about the Festival is to sign up for our newsletter, which also contains updates about other Emirates Literature Foundation events and initiatives, such as the Boundless Books Podcast, and other writing competitions, online courses, and discounts.

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news and competitions, and on YouTube and Instagram to see the latest developments.

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