Be inspired by our world-class experts, including inspirational author of the Pursuit of Happyness, Chris Gardner

Dubai, January 2019: Is this the year you are going to get to grips with your weight, anxiety or relationships?  Did you start off well but find your New Year resolutions have slipped?  Help is at hand at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (1-9 March 2019), with a host of wellbeing sessions to show the way to health, happiness – and your own limitless potential. Our world-class experts include geneticists, psychologists, leadership and relationship gurus, and the inspirational author of the Pursuit of Happyness, Chris Gardner, whose real-life rags to riches story was portrayed by Will Smith in the hit film.

How to be Happy

How to be happy at home, work and in your relationships is the theme of a number of sessions which bring together the latest techniques that can be used to make your life fulfilled. These sessions will be in Arabic.

Has your relationship broken up again? The Paul Simon song said that there are 50 ways to leave your lover. Writer and social researcher Abdullah Al Neaimi, one of the most famous social media influencers in the UAE, gives us the lowdown on some of them in his session 10 Tricks Men Use To Break Up With You.  So if you think you’ve found ‘The One’ but discovered he might be ‘Don Juan’, Al Neaimi will give you the signs to look for, detailing the nefarious tricks of manipulative men and sharing his advice on how to avoid them.

Emotional Intelligence is the key to building successful relationships. We’ve brought together an expert panel to discuss how we can use emotional intelligence to find greater understanding in the way we relate to others, improving relationships in the workplace and beyond. Join bestselling Saudi author, broadcaster and columnist Dr. Abdullah Al Maghlooth along with Dr. Sherif Arafa author of How to Become a Human? and Dr. Mansoor Anwar Habib, a consultant in Family Medicine and Occupational Health to find out how using emotional intelligence can bring you greater success.

Abdullah Al Maghlooth and Dr. Sherif Arafa will be expanding on the conversation in their session, Create Your Happiness, discussing how to avoid burnout and learn ways to create a life of meaning and joy while increasing positive energy and decreasing stress. Take charge of your happiness and redesign your Happiness Blueprint by joining the revelatory session.

In his solo session ‘Tomorrow’s More Beautiful’, Abdullah Al Maghlooth develops the theme, explaining how to overcome the disappointments and challenges in our lives, with easy and manageable ways to tackle the problems faced at home, work, school or anywhere else.

Employee wellbeing is a growing area of concern around the world, particularly the strain long hours and a deskbound life places on our minds and bodies. How to promote health and happiness in the workplace will be explored by Dr. Saeed Abdullah Al Madhloum, a lecturer at Dubai Police Academy and director of the Six Sigma Center at Dubai Police, and Dr. Mansoor Anwar Habib, a Consultant in Family Medicine & Occupational Health at Du, who will share what they have learned about employee wellbeing and discuss the latest expert advice in workplace health. 

Mind, Body and Soul

A chilled Yoga Brunch gets the Festival off to a harmonious start with a rejuvenating outdoor yoga session by the Creek, led by Dubai-based instructor Melanie Swan. Then join Mira Manek for some soul food – a delicious vegetarian brunch using recipes from her book, Saffron Soul, which combines Manek’s love of healthy eating with her own style of Indian food. She will tell us about her food journey and what she has learned along the way – from her struggles with digestive issues to her recovery through healthy eating, to finding success as a published author and foodie entrepreneur.

It is said that what doesn’t break you makes you stronger, and there can be no better example of this than Chris Gardner.  He will talk about his astonishing life story, breaking out of the cycle of poverty and homelessness to becoming a successful stockbroker – while at the same time single-handedly bringing up his son. Be inspired by his moving story which shows how obstacles can be overcome with the right mindset – choosing not to quit when the going gets tough and instead determining to become world class at whatever you choose to do

Gene Genies

Nature or nurture? There is compelling evidence that the genes we are born with have far more impact on the way we live our lives than previously thought, and this is explored in a number of sessions at the Festival.

TV personality and geneticist Dr Giles Yeo presents programmes such as BBC’s critically acclaimed Horizon: Clean Eating – The Dirty Truth, which sparked a national debate in 2017. He has dedicated over 20 years to studying how genes influence our relationship with food. In his session, Yeo will explore why some people eat more than others, and examines the curious phenomenon of a plate of food being an Instagram commodity, rather than a path to healthy lives.

Genetics is also under the microscope in the session What it takes to be Superhuman with evolutionary biologist and managing editor of New Scientist magazine Rowan Hooper. He assesses the science of peak potential, taking a look at how much potential our species has and reviewing the role of genetics alongside the famed 10,000 hours of practice. Hooper looks at why some people achieve greatness when other can’t, no matter how hard they try. This is a fascinating, eye-opening and inspiring celebration of the best that the current human species has to offer.

How to get the edge is also considered by Ben Lyttleton, journalist and football consultant, as he looks at the secrets of leadership and the nature of talent. He has studied some of the world’s top football clubs to discover their innovative methods for developing talent. Can we use these techniques in our everyday lives to become the best we can be? Find out in this enlightening talk.

Mind Crafts

Feeling stressed, anxious, lacking in confidence, and tied to your phone? You are not alone.  Social anxiety and other mental health concerns have surged in recent years and the Festival has several sessions addressing these issues. Author, psychologist and relationship expert Ty Tashiro is known for his revolutionary books The Science of Happily Ever After and AWKWARD: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome. He looks at the characteristics and reasons around why we feel awkward or are socially clumsy, and puts forward ways we can overcome these traits to be comfortable in our own skin.

Feelings of anxiety are also investigated by Kathy Hoopmann, whose photo books include All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome, All Dogs Have ADHD and All Birds Have Anxiety. Her books have been widely translated and won many awards, including the Creative Futures Recognition Award for services to the Autism Community in Australia last year.

The idiosyncrasies of the teenage brain can often be baffling but help is at hand from Nicola Morgan whose best-selling books Blame My Brain and The Teenage Guide to Stress established her as an expert in this field. Morgan will be tackling the tricky subject of the internet and screen time in The Teenage Guide to Life Online exploring the research into how the internet and screen-use affect our ability to concentrate, our mood and sleep patterns. Fake news, online privacy and the risk of sharing too much information – all will be examined in a lively and accessible manner in this not to be missed session for teenagers and their parents.

In a similar vein, Katherine Ormerod will be telling us why our lives are being ruined by social media.  She maintains that the internet has set destructive standards of flawlessness and comparison, rewired our behavioural patterns, destroyed our confidence and shattered our attention spans. Ormerod, who worked as journalist on publications such as Sunday Times Style, is now the editor of Work Work Work, the anti-perfectionist platform and content consultancy. In her session Ormerod explodes our social-media-addled ideas about body image, money, relationships, motherhood, careers, politics and more, and gives us the tools we need to control our own online lives, rather than being controlled by them.

For full details on all sessions and to buy tickets visit emirateslitfest.com

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is held in partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, arts, and culture. It is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.