Dubai, 5 March 2019:  Oratory and performance skills were on display today at the grand finals of the Emirates NBD Poetry for All competition, held during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (1-9 March 2019). The poetry performances marked the final round of the competition which showcased individual interpretations of favourite poems, and paid homage to the time-honoured Emirati tradition of poetry recital.

Winners were crowned by the Festival 2019 judges, poets Shahad Al Rawi, Afra Atiq, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Kulthom Abdullah, Salem Abdullah, Zainab AlBlooshi and LionHeart.

The Poetry For All competition attracted more than 400 entrants, competing across the two age group categories of the competition, 8-13 and 14-18, in addition to a non-competitive performance category for people of determination.

This is the second year that Emirates NBD has sponsored the competition. “The high level of performance has been amazing and uplifting to see,’ said Suvo Sarkar, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Emirates NBD. ‘Emirates NBD is honoured to support this competition, not only because we are celebrating our cultural heritage, but also because it provides an opportunity for young people and people of determination within our community to express themselves and showcase their theatrical talents – which is inspiring to see.”

Best English Poetry:

8 – 13 Category

  1. Isabel McGuiness – Dwight School
  2. Ricardo Gabriel O. De Vera – The Philippine School
  3. Dheepika Nair – The Millennium School

14 – 18 Category

  1. Sanaa Alahbabi – Latifa School for Girls
  2. Huda Imran – Deira International School
  3. Ishitha Manoj – The Indian High School

The Festival programme is brimming with sessions to engage, entertain and inform, with topics encompassing fiction, history, current affairs, food, health, travel, biography, business and more.  There are opportunities to appreciate poetry, take part in creative writing workshops and generally indulge in intelligent and articulate discussion on a wide range of topics. Sessions appeal to all ages and nationalities, featuring outstanding authors, thinkers and opinion formers.

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.