Our friends at the Emirates Literature Foundation share top reads from Emirati writers…

As we look forward to National Day and a long weekend, the Emirates Literature Foundation Team recommends spending at least part of it reading books by some wonderful homegrown authors. Here are three Emirati authors you should know.

Letters to a Young Muslim, by Omar Saif Ghobash

letters to a young muslim

In a series of personal letters to his sons, Omar Saif Ghobash offers hope in the form of a manifesto that tackles the dilemmas facing not only young Muslims but everyone navigating the complexities of today’s world. The letters are straightforward, relatable, and full of wisdom, and the book invites us to recognise our shared humanity in a world where we are more often encouraged to see differences. He might explore what it means to be a Muslim in the 21st century, but this book manages to resonate with readers from all religious backgrounds.

Galagolia: The Hidden Divination, by Dubai Abulhoul


This is the story of Maitha BinHumaid, a 10-year-old Emirati girl living in Deira. Growing up, Maitha believed her mother had died when she was an infant. But after the death of her father, Maitha finds a portal to a new world: Galagolia. In this world, her mother is alive and well.

Maitha discovers she is to be the new ruler of this world, but that is a lot of responsibility for a child in a world she didn’t even know existed until recently.

This is the first Emirati fantasy novel in English, and the author wrote it at the tender age of 15.

UAE 101 – Stories and Cultural Learnings, by Roudha Al Marri

UAE 101

This is a must-read for everyone who lives here. The book is a collection of 101 anecdotes and cultural tips to gain a better understanding of UAE culture and local customs. It brings together anecdotes, local traditions, history and curiosities.

To delve deeper into Emirati culture and books that break stereotypes, tune in to the Stereotypes episode of The Boundless Book Club podcast, where the LitFest team are joined by Khalid Al Ameri, who shares his personal pet peeve. You can find it here, and on all your favourite podcast platforms. Don’t forget to check out the YouTube channel for sessions, author interviews and more book chat.