Emirates Airline Festival of Literature announces dates, speakers


The 16th edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is back bigger than ever

Bibliophiles, your favourite literature festival is back!

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature or Emirates LitFest has announced its dates, new speakers and a whole new line-up of experiences to make this year bigger than ever.

The 16th edition will run from 31 January to 6 February 2024, with plenty of conversations, author meet and greets, family activities, musical performances and more. That’s a week of non-stop literary fun at the Intercontinental, Dubai Festival City, so get planning for the biggest litfest of the year!

New speakers

Starting off the starry line-up are 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.

Rebecca Yarros, author of the super popular Fourth Wing will also be making their regional debut. BookTok fans also stand a chance to catch Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Romantic Comedy live at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature!

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 and Zahra Lari – the first figure skater for the UAE and the region to compete on a global level.

And that’s just the tip of the lit-berg.

Speakers returning to the Emirates LitFest

Returning to the LitFest stage are behavioural expert Thomas Erikson, author of the best-selling book, Surrounded By Idiots.

A highlight on the list is naturally journalist, novelist, and Stephen Hawking’s daughter, Lucy Hawking, who will be speaking about Princess Olivia Investigates, her brand new series of children’s fiction about climate change.

Japanese literature fans can also catch Toshikazu Kawaguchi, a giant of Japanese literature and author of Before the Coffee Gets Cold book series.

And there’s plenty more to keep an eye out for, with more speaker reveals to be expected over the coming months!

Other performances

In addition to the workshops, Emirates LitFest is thrilled to unveil four experiences for Festival-goers of all ages and interests.

LitFest After Hours means the fun doesn’t stop once the sun goes down. From Thursday to Sunday, the doors will be open for a feast of performances, games, activities, and food.

Books aside, authors and speakers converge for Discovery Talks, a series of free-to-attend lectures offering intriguing perspectives on topics ranging from the Spiderverse to Chinese mythology to Arabic language and artificial intelligence.

The Festival has gathered some of the finest children’s storytellers and illustrators from across the UAE and the world for an action-packed weekend perfect for tiny bookworms. From dragons and superheroes to teen spies and poetry, there’s something for every little reader at LitFest Families.

University and high school students are invited to be a part of important conversations and ignite their imagination at Youth Day, a day of specially curated events for curious minds, covering themes from artificial intelligence to literature to business and sustainability, all with an anchoring focus on Arabic culture.

With tickets going on sale from 14 December, don’t miss out on the epic Emirates LitFest!

For more information, visit emirateslitfest.com/



31 January to 6 February 2024


Intercontinental, Dubai Festival City


Follow Yalla – Dubai Life for all the latest news

Image source Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature

Caroline D’Almeida

A little bit of India, a little more of the UAE, and a lot of shawarma perhaps best captures Caroline’s anatomy. An avid believer in value for money, her hobbies include putting the ‘elite lifestyle’ to the test. And finding cheaper dupes for it all. A Sharjah girl new to the capital, she hopes to discover the pulse of the emirate.