If there is anything you can treat yourself in March, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (LitFest) would be one of the best options.
The five-day event beginning on March 6 promises activities that will engage book lovers with healthy debates, learning sessions and fun-filled activities. You can even bring the rest of your family to the venue as the festival caters to people of all ages.
With at least 120 of the world's best writers and thinkers from 30 countries, you have plenty of fields to choose from be it cookery, travel, art, business, horror, popular fiction, literary fiction, screen writing, history, or Islamic art.
"The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is a meeting of minds from around the world," Festival director Isobel Abulhoul said.
So imagine sitting in one room and discussing with literary giants such as Steve Coll, Imtiaz Dharker, Bi Feiyu, Chetan Bhagat, Yang Lian, David Nicholls, Paolo Giordano, Nicholas Sparks, and Terry Wogan, to name a few. Surely, spending at least 30 minutes of your time with these honoured guests would be more than a treat.
"The whole point of the Festival of Literature is to [give us a] chance to have a celebration, which is about intellectual stimulation. We don't have many of these chances in life," a Festival organiser said.
The festival organisers said they have lots of new features for the event including the Literary Tea with master chef Ariana Bundy. Also, you may choose from among the list of free events courtesy of The Fringe. This year, it's not only for the children. Adults, too, will have their own celebration.
But what they're most excited about is the building of the arish—a palm hut—for the Heritage Night and heritage sessions.
"We're building a giant 240-seater arish. It's the brainchild of Isobel Abulhoul, the festival director, and Sandra Piesik, an architect who's now an author," a festival organiser said. The venue itself will be a sight to behold courtesy of the Dubai Municipality.
The theme of this year's festival will centre on identity, a subject Emiratis and expatriates can relate to.
"We are here in Dubai, characterised by its ability to be home to every nationality under the sun. We can all be ourselves and also find in ourselves a new self which belongs to Dubai. We are Indian, or Emirati, or British or French, or Kenyan or Japanese. But we also become someone else—a part of the United Nations which is Dubai," Abulhoul said.
"We will go on a journey of self-discovery together and learn just a little but more about who we all are." The Festival will be held from March 6-10 under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates airline and the Dubai Culture.