Dubai, 4 February 2020:  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 (4-9 February 2020). 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 chosen by a panel of Festival poets and judges including festival poets Martin Kiszko, Carlos Andrés Gómez, Afra Atiq for the English categories, and Farah Chamma, Jan Dost, Zainab AlBlooshi for the Arabic entries.

The Poetry for All competition attracted a large number of 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 students of determination.

This is the fourth year that Emirates NBD has sponsored the competition. “This year the performances have been outstanding,” said Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Emirates NBD. “It’s inspiring to see the enthusiasm these young people have for performance poetry and as a company, Emirates NBD is delighted to support this competition, not only because it celebrates the Emirati tradition of poetry recital, but because it provides an opportunity for young people and people of determination within our community to express themselves and showcase their theatrical talents – it’s inspiring and exciting for everyone involved.”

List of winners:

Category: 8 – 13 years old

  1. Thais Day Martinez from JESS Jumeirah
  2. Teya Taslan from Safa British School
  3. Isabel McGuiness from Dwight School


Category: 14 – 18 years old

  1. Aneesh Set from Delhi Private School
  2. Inshira Meer from the British International School
  3. Sana Feroz from The Millennium 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.

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.