Tickets Now on Sale for This Year's Emirates Airline Festival of Literature |

Tickets Now on Sale for This Year's Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

And more authors have been confirmed!

Posted on

13 January 2021

Last updated on 28 January 2021
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2021

2021 highlights include Malala, Elif Shafak, Amin Maalouf, and Lemn Sissay

Great news for Foundation Friends members, early access tickets to this year's Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (29 January-13 February) are now on sale!

For non-members, tickets are on sale from 12:00 tomorrow, Thursday 14 January for the region’s premier literary event.

Nobel prize winner Malala, Booker nominees Avni Doshi (author of 'Burnt Sugar') and Oyinkan Braithwaite (author of 'My Sister the Serial Killer') will be among the authors taking to the stage.

Programme highlights also include internationally acclaimed authors Elif Shafak, Amin Maalouf and Lemn Sissay.

Featuring an array of fascinating topics which will interest readers and non-readers alike, there will be a mix of live appearances and virtual sessions across three weekends and three venues: Jameel Arts Centre (29-30 January), the big middle weekend at the Festival’s home, the InterContinental Dubai Festival City (4-6 February) and Alserkal Avenue (12-13 February).

Additions to the names already announced include the ingenious and avant-garde Irma Boom who will be appearing at Jameel Arts Centre. Described as 'The Queen of Books', Boom’s bold experimental approach in creating more than 300 books resulted in her becoming the youngest recipient of the Gutenberg Prize, with a selection of her books held in the permanent collection of MoMA in New York.

How literature contributes to uncovering society’s unspoken rules is the topic in Kuwaiti writer Abdullah Al Busais' session. He is known for his exploration of the human psyche in his novels, 'The Taste of the Wolf' and 'K for Killer, S for Saeed', which both delve into the political and cultural attitudes that shaped the societal identity of Kuwait.

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2021

Would-be writers won’t want to miss the workshop ‘The Art of the Plot Twist’ with award-winning crime-writer Clare Mackintosh, who will be at the InterContinental giving an insight into the devious mind-bending techniques required when writing in this exciting genre.

Taleb Alrefai, the acclaimed Kuwaiti author, is also featured on a panel with Amin Maalouf, examining how to tackle difficult topics in fiction.

Dana Dajani is an award-winning Palestinian writer, performer, and advocate. Part spoken-word, part one-woman show, Dana’s performance is unique and unforgettable.

Local talent is not to be missed include Sultan Al Ameemi, the Emirati author of more than a dozen books, including short story collections, novels, and works of non-fiction.

Many sessions will be inspired by the 2021 Festival theme, ‘Change the Story’, capturing the spirit of the current times through family fun, enlightening and entertaining talks, fresh ideas and dynamic performances centred on books, art, science, current affairs, film and food.

Due to social distancing, there will be fewer tickets available, so early booking is recommended. Tickets will be required for each event, including free sessions, to ensure visitor number restrictions are adhered to. Several sessions will also be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend or miss out on tickets.

How much are the tickets?

Ticket prices start at AED 60 for adult sessions, AED 40 for children’s sessions, and AED 100 for a digital pass to watch live-streamed sessions from home.

To book your tickets, click here.

A minimum of 10 top sessions will be streamed live from the big Festival weekend at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City.

The Festival will be fully compliant with all Covid-19 prevention regulations and guidelines from the Dubai Health Authorities, including social distancing measures across all three venues and mandatory masks. See full details on the Emirates LitFest website.

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 and 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.

For the full list of authors, visit

More information can be found online and year-round news of #EmiratesLitFest across social media

You can also tune in to the Foundation’s two podcasts; the Best of the Emirates LitFest, and the Boundless Book Club.

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
Sponsored by
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is the Arab World’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word. The 2021 festival will be held across three weekends at three fantastic venues: January 29 - 30 at the Jameel Arts Centre, February 4 - 6 at InterContinental Dubai, and from February 29 - 30 at Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz.