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

14 January 2019

Last updated on 29 January 2019
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2019

Tickets for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature are now on sale, with the news of even more big names appearing at the event.

Humanitarian and women’s rights campaigner Zainab Salbi, world-renowned ballerina and Strictly Come Dancing judge Dame Darcey Bussell, iconic UK Radio DJ Tony Blackburn and the world’s leading expert on women’s leadership, Sally Helgesen have now been confirmed, along with the return of the hugely popular Murder Mystery Dinner.

The authors join a stellar line-up which includes Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, author of Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future, and a leading name in the fight against climate change; Jane Hawking, whose best-selling memoir of her marriage with genius Stephen Hawking was turned into the film, Travelling to Infinity; IPAF winner Saud Alsanousi; Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney; novelist and artist Douglas Coupland, who defined Generation X; Cassandra Clare, author of the Shadowhunter Chronicles books, made into a motion picture as well as a popular Netflix series; master of crime fiction Ian Rankin, and many more.

SEE ALSO: Meet the women who changed the world at this year's Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

“The new names announced illustrate what a wide programme we have,” said Festival Director Ahlam Bolooki. “There really is something for everyone, from the light-hearted, amusing and entertaining, to gripping tales, insightful current affairs discussion and serious debate on what the future holds for us all. Many of the sessions are going to sell out quickly so to avoid disappointment we advise everyone to get their tickets as soon as they can”.

Zainab Salbi

Humanitarian, author and founder of Women for Women International, Zainab Salbi has been named as one of 25 Women Changing The World by People Magazine and one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women by Arabian Business.

She founded Women for Women in 1993 to helps female war-survivors recover from their experiences and will be talking about her book Freedom is an Inside Job – a guide to transforming the world by first addressing our inner conflicts.

Darcey Bussell

The former prima ballerina Dame Darcey Bussell danced with the Royal Ballet for over two decades. Her passion for dance is as fervent as ever, and she is a keen proponent of the art form, not least as one of the judges on the hit TV show, Strictly Come Dancing. To celebrate her 50th birthday, she has released an exquisitely produced book, Evolved, filled with remarkable images of her throughout her career and at other events, shot by some of the most famous photographers. Dame Darcey will return to the Festival to share with audiences the most recent chapters in her extraordinary story.

EAFOL 2019

Tony Blackburn and the Murder Mystery Dinner

The Murder Mystery Dinner makes a welcome return for 2019, where mystery and mayhem combine in a fun evening that is always one of the first events to sell out. As always, guests will have the chance to put their sleuthing skills to the test and see if they can outwit our authors to deduce who the killer is. The centrepiece of this year’s extravaganza is legendary DJ Tony Blackburn, who’ll be relating stories from his days on the high seas of pirate radio, through to his long career with the BBC. He was the first DJ to broadcast on Radio 1 in the UK, and was at the heart of the sixties and seventies music scene, mixing with the superstars of the pop and rock world, and the Motown legends of his beloved soul music. His crowning glory came in 2002 when he became the King of the Jungle, the first winner of the TV show ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.’

A treat for all you music fans out there, don’t miss this sensational evening as we ask, will there be Murder on the Dancefloor?

Sally Helgesen

Best-selling author, speaker and leadership coach, Sally Helgeson is cited in Forbes as the world’s premier expert on women’s leadership. For the last 30 years, her mission has been to help women leaders around the world recognize and act on their greatest strengths. Her most recent book, How Women Rise, became the top-selling title in its field within only a week of publication. Sally’s previous books include The Female Advantage: Women’s Ways of Leadership, hailed as a classic and The Web of Inclusion: A New Architecture for Building Great Organizations, cited in The Wall Street Journal as one of the best books on leadership of all time and credited with bringing the language of inclusion into business. Hear her thoughts on how women are being empowered to lead the businesses of today.

For tickets and the full list of authors, visit and

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
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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 2020 Festival will be held from February 4-9, 2020.