Sponsored: From children’s books to family entertainment, there’s something available for kids of all ages at this year’s Emirates Airline Festival of Literature…

If you are a parent who’s also a book lover, there’s no need to hire a babysitter to watch over your kids during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature – just bring them along with you and sign them up for some excellent children programmes.

The nine-day festival runs from March 1 and while adults will get to enjoy some of literature’s finest authors such as Jane Hawking and Chris Gardener (author of The Pursuit of Happyness) children will get the chance to meet some of the biggest names in children’s and young adult literature as well.

Here are five authors that you don’t want to miss:

Dana Alblooshi

The young author is only 12 years old,and she will be at the LitFest to introduce her book, 13 Amazing Women of Arabia. 

This young prodigy trained at NASA when she was only nine years old and became the youngest Emirati to do so. She, along with her brother, also became the youngest students in history to discuss scientific research on full-scale projects at the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester.

In her debut book, she pays tribute to 13 inspiring women from fields as diverse as science, government, fashion, business, sports and more.

Mona Yakzan

Lebanese/Cypriot artist, Mona Yakzan is an award-winning illustrator of many children’s books and she’ll be hosting a workshop to get the kid’s creative juices flowing at this years LitFest. Children will learn how to create a mask of their own using easily available materials including paper bags and cardboard, created using different techniques.

The materials will be provided on location and the ticket will admit one child and one accompanying adult.

Tony De Saulles

Tony De Saulles is the illustrator of the legendary Horrible Science series, and will be at LitFest with the latest book in his Bee Boy series. This event is targeted for children aged 7 and above ,and will offer an illustrated peek into the weird and wonderful world of Bee Boy! The author will also be discussing just how important bees are and why they matter so much.

And if the audience is lucky enough, Tony may just even sing a song or two if he has his guitar on hand.

Nicola Morgan

Nicola Morgan is the author of The Teenage Guide to Life Online who is at the LitFest this year to share her views on just how much the internet and screen use affects our ability to concentrate, our mood and sleep patterns.

The event is for children aged 12 and above but the show is a must attend, not just for kids or teenagers, but for parents as well. It touches upon topics such as fake news, online privacy and the risk of sharing too much information.

Jon Burgerman

This is a must-attend event if your is a foodie.

At this event, you will be invited into a different sort of food world where How to Eat Pizza artist, Jon Burgerman, brings food to life in his brightly coloured illustrations and delightfully interactive stories. Expect to see a world of talking food, with a pizza slice (that doesn’t want to be eaten, obviously) as the main star.

The artist will then invite guests to draw their own characters and bring them to life.

More to see:

Take a breath of fresh air and head outside the InterContinental, Dubai Festival City to the Creek for some free activities for you and the little ones to partake in.

Head to Al Majlis where they will be hosting a line-up of readings and book club gatherings, or go to Penguin Random House Story Corner where you and your child can stop and listen to free story readings from brilliant authors and storytellers.

If you need a break from the books, visit the Family Oasis for some of child-friendly activities courtesy of the Festival partners, including Lego, Trust Your Water, Drawings by Me, Storytel, Dubai Cares, and Dubai Police.

You can also enjoy a stunning performance at The Fringe that’s performed by hundreds of talented children from across the UAE.

Best of all – they’re all free to attend.


A single ticket for a session for a child will set you back Dhs50 and you can find a list of events can be found here.

A standard general/adults sessions will cost you Dhs75.

There are also festival passes on offer with a 25 discount if you buy 10 tickets to 10 different sessions, and 15% off if you buy five tickets to five different sessions.

The festival is from March 1 to 9 and tickets are available for you to purchase at emirateslitfest.com.

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, InterContinental, Dubai Festival City, March 1 to 9, adults Dhs75, children Dhs50. emirateslitfest.com

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