The 16th edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature – which is now billing itself “the region’s largest celebration of stories and ideas”, presumably in a bid to escape the confines of the printed page – will be returning to the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City from 31 January to 6 February (which by our count is a day longer than the 2023 LitFest).
As well as the mix-as-before of authors and associated folk in solo and panel presentations, there’s a group of new events which major on the younger audience. LitFest After Hours (“the fun doesn’t stop once the sun goes down”) runs Thursday to Sunday for “a feast of performances, games, activities, and food”. Discovery Talks are free-to-attend “fun” lectures on topics ranging from the Spiderverse to Chinese mythology and artificial intelligence. LitFest Families is a festival-within-the-festival for the young, featuring “some of the finest children’s storytellers and illustrators” in “an action-packed weekend perfect for tiny bookworms”. And for the young adult market there’s Youth Day, “a day of specially curated events for curious minds, covering themes from artificial intelligence to literature to business and sustainability, all with an anchoring focus on Arabic culture”.
There will also be a Fringe Stage, an opportunity for young performers to showcase their talents in the performing arts in front of a live international audience.
“At its core, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is a celebration of human connection through narratives that live and breathe in different mediums.” said Ahlam Bolooki, CEO of Emirates Literature Foundation and LitFest Festival Director for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. “We are thrilled to once again welcome authors, performers, thinkers and change makers hailing from a rich tapestry of disciplines that will open our minds, expand our horizons and leave an indelible mark on our journey through life.”
The full programme and ticket availability is promised for 14 December.