Emirates Airline Festival of Literature reveals 2022 author line-up

Julia Quinn, David Walliams, David Baldacci and Jalal Barjas are among the high-profile authors appearing at the event

Authors Julia Quinn, Sara Gay Forden and Serhii Plokhy are among the literary figures appearing at this year's festival. Photos: Roberto Filho, Getty, Wikimedia
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The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has announced its 2022 line-up, with the selection paying tribute to the source literature behind some of today’s most compelling films and series.

Bridgerton author Julia Quinn and Chernobyl 1986 author Serhii Plokhy, both of whom had their respective works turned into hit Netflix projects, will be appearing at the festival.

Sara Gay Forden, author of House of Gucci, which has been adapted into a coming film starring Lady Gaga and Al Pacino, has also been confirmed.

Mona Shammari, writer of the historical drama No Music at Al Ahmadi, Mohammed Saeed Harib, creator of Freej, and Demon Slayer animator Ken Arto are also scheduled to appear at the festival.

The event will take place from February 3 to 12.

The full line-up of authors was revealed on Wednesday during an event at the Expo 2020 Dubai site, featuring a performance by Emirati singer Arqam.

Organisers reiterated the theme of the festival — Here Comes the Sun — which for the first time will be held at the canal-side Habtoor City Hotels.

Other big names in the programme include entrepreneur and Crush it! author Gary Vaynerchuck; TV chef and Great British Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain; comedian and Gangsta Granny writer David Walliams; 2021 Sheikh Zayed Book Award winner Iman Mersal; 2021 International Prize for Arabic Fiction winner Jalal Barjas; and Sleepy Head novelist Mark Billingham.

The Baghdad Clock author Shahad Al Rawi, YouTuber Ahmed El Ghandour, aka Al Da7ee7, and Omar Saif Ghobash, who will be launching his first novel after his acclaimed 2017 non-fiction work Letters to a Young Muslim, will also appear.

The festival will also host popular new talents including C Pam Zhang, author of How Much of These Hills Is Gold, The Vanishing Half novelist Brit Bennet, The Guest List writer Lucy Foley and Yesterday writer Felicia Yap.

While most of the figures will be appearing at the festival in person, a few are scheduled to participate virtually, including bestselling thriller writer David Baldacci.

“We are thrilled to be able to welcome international authors back in person, and brimming with excitement about our new venue, our phenomenal programme and, as always, the unforgettable stories the festival will give rise to,” said Ahlam Bolooki, director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

“We have some very special sessions planned for the coming edition, and I am telling everyone to book early because if you blink, you will miss your chance.”

Dedicated Emirati day

The festival will open with a dedicated Emirati Day, featuring a strong line-up of Emirati authors of all genres. Organised in collaboration with Dubai Culture, it will also feature sessions, from short story and poetry readings to panel discussions on topics ranging from scriptwriting to women in education and the science of being a collector.

An esteemed panel of experts will discuss the stigma of being in the arts, while another panel will bring together three impressive Emirati women, including aviator Fatima Al Mansoori, Hana Al Hashimi and Alamira Reem Al Hashimi. Meanwhile, life coach Hala Kazim will share her insights into positivity, wellness and mental health, offering practical steps to acceptance.

“Through the dedicated Emirati day that we are organising during the festival, we continue to support and empower local talent and provide them with the opportunity to reach global horizons”, said Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, chief executive of the Arts and Literature Sector at Dubai Culture.

“This contributes to strengthening the cultural and creative industries in the emirate within the framework of our vision to cement Dubai’s position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent as well as achieve the objectives of the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, which aims to make Dubai the global capital of the creative economy by 2025.”

More information is available at www.emirateslitfest.com

Updated: November 18, 2021, 9:51 AM