Dubai, 8 February 2020:  The  talented young winners of the Oxford University Press (OUP) Story Writing Competition  were honoured today at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (4-9 February 2020)  in a special prize-giving ceremony.  The annual competition is a fixture of the academic calendar with more than 3000 students from the UAE sending in their entries this year. The competition runs in Arabic and in English and is divided into age-specific categories: 11 and under, 12-14, 15-17 and 18-25. Each winner received a book containing their original short stories and a winner’s plaque. Presenting the awards at the ceremony were 2020 Festival authors  Sara- Jane Arbury, Fiona Ross and Rania Zaghir.

The theme for the competition was ‘Tomorrow’. “This really captured the imaginations of the students who entered this year and along with many exploring a science fiction theme, there were others who gave us hair-raising  visions of what  the world might look like with climate change  while others saw it as an opportunity to show how we can make the world a better place,” said Julie Till, Head of Central Asia, Middle East & North Africa at Oxford University Press. ‘It is really wonderful to be able to support these young writers’ through this competition and we hope it leads to a love of writing for pleasure in the years to come.”


OUP winners – English

11 and under:

  1. Eman Ali – Gems Founders School
  2. Alice Myerscough – Dubai English Speaking School
  3. Tabitha Riddler – North London Collegiate School

12- 14

  1. Nada Alkhatib – Al Bashair Private School
  2. Aaditya Gandhi – The Winchester School
  3. Shayma Abbasi – Duneha


  1. Safia Khalifa Al Mansouri – Raha International School
  2. Anyka Chakravarty – Gems Wellington International School
  3. Hannah Lila – Raha International School


  1. Tanya Jessica D’Souza – St. Mary’s Catholic School
  2. Sara Saif Alzaabi – Khalifa University
  3. Fathima Afrin Anosh – Amity University, Dubai


OUP winners – Arabic:

11 and under:

  1. Marwan Amin Samir Bdeer (Al Rashed Al Saleh Private School, Dubai)
  2. Arwa Ahmad Al Nasser (Dubai National School – Al Twar, Dubai)
  3. Tia Saed Shraqa (Al Rashed Al Saleh Private School, Dubai)


  1. Taif Shafi Naser AlHajri (Institute of Applied Technology, Abu Dhabi)
  2. Rawan Abdulrahman AlRais (Dubai National School – Al Twar, Dubai)
  3. Khawla Abdulsalam AlJasmi (Dubai National School – Al Twar, Dubai)


  1. Joumana Hani Mohammad (Al Mawakeb School – Al Barsha, Dubai)
  2. Fatima Hussein Ibrahim Hilwani (Al Ittihad Private School – Al Mamzar, Dubai)
  3. Mariam Ali Saeed AlFalasi (Applied Technology High School, Abu Dhabi)


  1. Nouf Ali Abdulla Qassem (Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi)
  2. Abeer Ahmad Abdulla AlHarthi (Mohammed V University, Abu Dhabi)
  3. Sara Kheirallah Alalimi AlHarthi (Al Wasl University, Abu Dhabi)


The Festival is held with Founding Partners Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, arts, and culture.

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 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.

To buy tickets and for the full list of authors, visit http://www.emirateslitfest.com/shop

More information about the Emirates Literature Foundation can be found online and year-round news about #EmiratesLitFest is available on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.