Dubai: The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has been named the Best Arts and Cultural Event at the 2018 Middle East Special Event Awards (MESE) which were announced on the 23 April at a glittering ceremony at the Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.
The Festival, which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary (1-10 March), is one of the leading international literary festivals and the Arab World’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word. It brings together authors, poets, thinkers and speakers from around the world and the local region in an entertaining programme with wide appeal, making books, reading and ideas accessible to all. Visitors come face to face with best-selling authors and new writers, enjoy thought-provoking panel discussions, and hear the latest views and opinions on a range of topics from world experts in their field.
This year, more than 41,000 visitors saw sessions from David Walliams, Alexander McCall Smith, Shashi Tharoor, Kamila Shamsie, UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash, Taghreed Al Najjar, and Emirati writer Noura Al Khoori, amongst many others.
This is the fourth year that the Literary Festival has been awarded the accolade. Festival Director Ahlam Bolooki said: ‘We are thrilled to have received this honour yet again from our peers in the events industry. To be recognized for the excellence of our Festival is a huge affirmation of the work we do and it is a wonderful endorsement for the hard-working team who all go beyond the extra mile to make the Festival such a success.’
The Festival previously won the Award in 2013, 2014, and 2015. The 2019 Festival will take place from February 28 until March 9.