Emirates LitFest releases images of the Dubai community welcoming the 2022 festival

UAE leads the charge of a global increase in conversation about reading

Emirates LitFest releases the stunning images of the Dubai community celebrating the countdown to the 2022 festival
Emirates LitFest releases the stunning images of the Dubai community celebrating the countdown to the 2022 festival

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.” 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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