Joanne Harris. Photo by REX / David Hartley
Joanne Harris. Photo by REX / David Hartley

The festival

Returning for its sixth edition, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature continues its mission of bringing some of the globe’s best literary minds to Dubai for five days’ worth of panels, workshops and book signings. The guest list features more than 100 authors from 24 countries from both the western and Arab worlds. Despite the various genres and sessions on display, most of the conversation will focus around the festival theme of Metamorphosis.

The festival’s director Isobel Abulhoul says the subject reflects the event’s growth: “We continue to evolve. Each year our international reputation grows and this has helped us attract our stunning list of authors, resulting in a programme that is exciting, enriching and accessible.”

The bestsellers

One of the charms of the festival is that it allows you to rub shoulders with top authors. Leading the western big names is Britain’s Joanne Harris, whose 1999 novel Chocolat went on to become a popular film featuring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. The crime novelist Peter James who created Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and the Malaysian author Tash Aw of The Harmony Silk and Five Star Billionaire fame will also make the trip to Dubai to discuss their works.

Regional heavyweights

The Arab contingent is full of award- winners and rising stars. This year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) winner, Kuwait’s Saud Alsanousi, will discuss his novel, The Bamboo Stalk.

Joining him are the Moroccan 2011 IPAF winner Mohammed Achaari, the Iraqi novelist and essayist Alia Mamdouh and the Jordanian writer Ibrahim Nasrallah.

Local flavour

The festival is home to a strong Emirati writing contingent. The children’s author Maitha Al Khayat will discuss her popular titles including My Own Special Way. The respected poet Khulood Al Mu’alla will present a selection of her works, while the Emirati singer of anasheed Ahmed Bukhatir is also a festival guest.

• The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is on from March 4 to 8 in Dubai. Tickets go on sale from January 20 on

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Recycle Reuse Repurpose

New central waste facility on site at expo Dubai South area to  handle estimated 173 tonne of waste generated daily by millions of visitors

Recyclables such as plastic, paper, glass will be collected from bins on the expo site and taken to the new expo Central Waste Facility on site

Organic waste will be processed at the new onsite Central Waste Facility, treated and converted into compost to be re-used to green the expo area

Of 173 tonnes of waste daily, an estimated 39 per cent will be recyclables, 48 per cent  organic waste  and 13 per cent  general waste.

About 147 tonnes will be recycled and converted to new products at another existing facility in Ras Al Khor

Recycling at Ras Al Khor unit:

Plastic items to be converted to plastic bags and recycled

Paper pulp moulded products such as cup carriers, egg trays, seed pots, and food packaging trays

Glass waste into bowls, lights, candle holders, serving trays and coasters

Aim is for 85 per cent of waste from the site to be diverted from landfill 


July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

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2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

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2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

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