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Tales on the Island: International Storytelling Festival

21 February - 23 February


An event unique in its kind in the UAE and the GCC, the region’s only festival entirely dedicated to the oral tradition and the art of storytelling. The theme of this year’s third edition is ‘A Treasure of Words’ and storytellers, live performers and musicians from 10 nationalities will be taking part in a month-long festival on Al Noor Island, between 21 February and 16 March – it’s open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays, generally between 4.30pm and 10.30pm (and exceptionally on the opening Thursday evening, 8pm to 10.30pm) with weekdays reserved for school field trips and group bookings.

The programme has been put together by Paola Balbi and Davide Bardi, leading lights of the storytelling revival in Europe and artistic directors of Raccontamiunastoria Storytelling Company since 2009. The full schedule is here.

The first weekend (21–23 February) features Shereen Saif (India/Dubai); Martina Pisciali, Mattia di Pierro, Davide Bardi and Paolo Balbi (Italy); Lamya Tawfik (Egypt/Dubai); Xanthe Gresham (UK); Halima Hamdan (Morocco); and Mariella Bertelli (Canada).

The second weekend (1-2 March) sees Tuup (UK) and Fidaa Ataya (Palestine) joining Mariella Bertelli (Canada), Shereen Saif (India/Dubai), and Martina Pisciali, Mattia di Pierro, Davide Bardi and Paolo Balbi (Italy).

Weekend three (8-9 March) has Katie Knutson (USA) with Lamya Tawfik (Egypt/Dubai), Shereen Saif (India/Dubai) and Germana De Ruvo, Paola Balbi, Davide Bardi and Martina Pisciali (Italy).

The final weekend (15-16 March) features Sarah Kassir (Lebanon), Michael Harvey (Wales), Katie Knutson (USA), Lamya Tawfik (Egypt/Dubai), and Germana De Ruvo, Paola Balbi and Martina Pisciali (Italy).




21 February
23 February
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Al Noor Island
Buhairah Corniche Road, Khalid Lagoon
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