The countdown to the 14th Emirates Airline Festival of Literature begins with a spectacular sunrise event as a taster for the leading global literary festival. Bringing to life one of the findings of a new Mapper360 study, the event saw readers and writers come together in a shared experience, which echoes a strong online trend of growing communities of vocal readers and responsive writers in dialogue. The study also identified a 3% global increase in online conversations about books and reading, with the UAE leading the charge with a 7% increase over the previous year.
Hosted in the Dubai desert at secluded desert camp Caravanserai, the sunrise event was attended by more than 100 authors, poets, Foundation Friends, and lovers of stories, with 200 books available to share, read, discuss, and take home. The event signals a new dawn for the Festival, with the 2022 program featuring more unique experiences and surprising special events than ever before under the theme ‘Here Comes the Sun.’
The full Mapper360 report identifies key trends in the literary landscape across the UAE and globally, and it will be released in the coming months.
Emirates LitFest will feature several special events
The globally renowned Emirates LitFest will take place from 3-12 February 2022 at locations throughout Dubai, with a packed program of events, literary readings, cultural and musical performances, foodie experiences, live debates, and interactive workshops throughout the ten days of the festival.
It will also feature a number of ‘only in Dubai’ special events, including the prized jewel of the festival, Desert Stanzas – an atmospheric poetry extravaganza under the stars at Caravanserai, bringing together world-class poetry performance and Arabian hospitality. There will also be intimate readings with award-winning authors, fireside chats, and a celebration for Charles Dickens’ birthday where literature’s most iconic woman, Havisham, finally gets to have her wedding.
Festival director Ahlam Bolooki commented, “After living with the strain of the pandemic for so long, coming together here in this beautiful desert landscape to read, talk about books, and watch the light chase away the shadows is a balm for the soul. Our community has told us how much they need stories, books, and the festival, and we didn’t want to make them wait. Coming out here for a reading breakfast with hundreds of members of our local community has rejuvenated us and given us the boost of positivity and joy we associate with the festival.”