Block out the dates in your calendar… 

Bibliophiles, we have some great news that will make you flip. The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is back next year taking place from Wednesday, January 31 to February 6, 2024.

That’s seven jam-packed days of non-stop events for literary fans and a celebration of the written word. Now in its 16 edition of the event, expect some of the world’s greatest writers, creators and thought leaders. It will (as usual) be a great spot to get inspired and in this upcoming edition, there will be new experiences to check out.

Here’s what to expect at Emirates Literature Festival 2024


Emirates literature festival

Making an appearance at the event is Sophia Webster renowned shoe and accessories designer and author of Oh My Gosh, I Love Your Shoes!  Also present will be Paul Lynch, author of the Prophet Song, Booker-Prize winner and President of the Royal Society of Literature.

Bernadine Evaristo, Booker Prize-winner, President of the Royal Society of Literature and author of critically acclaimed titles like Girl, Woman, Other and The Emperors Babe, will also be present, along with Deena Mohamed, the First Lady of Iceland, Egyptian graphic novelist and illustrator.

American poet, essayist and playwright, Claudia Rankine; father of the iPod and founder of Nest, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tony Fadell – author of Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making; will be hosting sessions at the event.

Making their regional debut will be author Rebecca Yarros who penned the popular book, Fourth Wing.

If you’re a fan of BookTok (the sub-community on the app TikTok that focuses on books and literature) you will see Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Romantic Comedy – in the flesh at the festival.

Other authors to expect include Anton Hur – who Kpop fans will know for his upcoming biography of Kpop sensation BTS, Francesca Cartier Brickell – a direct descendant of the Cartier family, Zahra Lari – the first figure skater for the UAE and the region to compete on a global level; and more.

Beloved astronaut Hazza AlMansoori and UAE’s Minister of Youth Sultan AlNeyadi will also be present.

Returning names

If you loved an author session in the last editions or missed the session, you’ll be glad to know that behavioural expert Thomas Erikson – author of the best-selling book, Surrounded By Idiots will be returning to the festival. He will be discussing his book Surrounded by Energy Vampires and offering tips and tricks to identifying and dealing with the energy vampires lurking throughout our lives.

For our Arabic speakers, author and poet Ali Abu Al Reesh will be at the event and it is one you won’t want to miss as his novel The Confession is considered one of the top hundred most important Arabic novels of the century. Award-winning Palestinian writer and performer Dana Dajani will also be at the literary festival.

For those who know Japanese, you will be able to book a session with Toshikazu Kawaguchi – the author of the popular book series Before the Coffee Gets Cold.

And if you think this is it? Think again as more authors will be announced in the near future. Stay up to date with the latest on

New experiences

There will be four new experiences launched that festival-goers will just adore.

At LitFest After Hours, the doors will open for a feast of performances, games, activities, and food after the sun has gone down. It will take place from February 1 to 4.

At Discovery Talks, book fans can expect a series of free lectures which offer up different perspectives on topics ranging from the Spiderverse to Chinese mythology to Arabic language and artificial intelligence.

For families with tiny bookworms, LitFest Families will be packed with some of the finest children’s storytellers and illustrators from across the UAE. Spanning a vast number of genres from teen spies to dragons, superheroes and more, there will be something for everyone.

For university and high school students, they are invited to ignite their imagination at Youth Day – a day curated for the curious mind and covering themes from artificial intelligence to literature to business and sustainability, all with an anchoring focus on Arabic culture.

Ticket details

Tickets are available on the official website here. Want to get a discount? Become a Foundation Friends (members of the Festival’s loyalty programme) and get a 20 per cent discount on all tickets, workshops and special events.

You can also stay up to date on the latest via @emirateslitfest

Images: Supplied