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What to attend at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

What to attend at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

We take a look at some of the business-related events taking place at the annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

The Arab world’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word returns to the InterContinental Hotel at Dubai Festival City this month.

From Thursday, March 1 to Saturday, March 10, almost 200 writers, artists, thought-leaders, celebrities and more will take part in a similar number of workshops, panel discussions, Q&As and keynote speeches that make up the 2018 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

From children’s events to technical coaching there is something for everybody to enjoy during the week and a half long programme – and the business community has plenty to look forward to.
Here we highlight some of the best business-related events taking place throughout the eclectic programme.

The Little Book of Lyyke
Meik Wiking
Friday, March 2, 12pm

In a month that includes the International Day of Happiness, and with Dubai’s far-reaching happiness ambitions widely known, it is fitting for one of the first sessions at this year’s Emirates Lit Fest to feature Meik Wiking. The CEO of the Happiness Research Institute will be in conversation with Christopher Bradley, discussing his book The Little Book of Lykke, which aims to reveal the secrets of happiness, from how we spend our time to how we relate to neighbours and cook dinner. Ways of working and how we think of work could form an important part of the discussion, with issues such as money, freedom and trust among the book’s focus areas.

The World of Three Zeroes
Muhammad Yunus
Friday, March 2, 7.30pm

Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus will speak with Dubai Eye radio host Richard Dean about his new book A World of Three Zeroes, which describes a new economic system based on zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero net emissions, and introduces the innovative social businesses that are changing their practices to make this possible. The Bangladeshi economist, professor and founder of the economic movement of microcredit, has helped to help millions of his compatriots out of poverty. Yunus is also the founder of Grameen Bank, which pioneered micro financing – providing loans to those too poor to quality for traditional bank loans – and led to his 2006 Nobel Prize.

Publishing in translation: From choosing the book to finding the reader
Paulo Lemos Horta, Maán Jalal & Mohammad Rabie
Wednesday, March 7, 1.30pm

This panel delves into the world of publishing – specifically the translation aspect. Maán Jalal, Mohammad Rabie and Paulo Lemos Horta will discuss how publishers choose which books to translate, examining the market for books in translation, the relationship between author, translator and editor, and how to find the readers. Horta is the author of Marvellous Thieves: Secret Authors of the Arabian Nights, prolific contributor to newspapers, and associate professor of literature and create writing at New York University Abu Dhabi; Maán Jalal is a writer and journalist covering arts, culture and entertainment; and Mohammad Rabie is an editor at Dar Al Tanweer Publishers and award-winning author.

Evolving book marketing and distribution in the Arab world
Ala’ Alsallal, Charlie Scott, Jamal Al Shehhi
Wednesday, March 7, 4.30pm

This conversation centres on the evolution of book marketing and distributing in the region. With publishers needing to grab every opportunity to showcase new and existing talent, the trio of speakers will explore ways in which publishing in the Arab world can move forwards towards a brighter future. Charlie Scott is publisher at Motivate Books – one of the region’s most established and diverse publishers; Al Shehhi is an author and publisher from the UAE who serves as director general of Dar Kuttab Publishing; and Ala’ Alsallal is the founder and CEO of Jamalon – the largest online store for Arabic and English books across the MENA region.

Storytelling on social media
Alexandra Maia
Friday, March 9, 10am

If you’re looking for ways to improve your business’s – or personal – social media presence, this master class could be the one for you. Founder of House of Social, Alexandra Maia, will offer in-depth knowledge and provide you with a range of tactics to take you to the next social level – helping individuals and businesses adapt to the new digital landscape. Among Maia’s illustrious clients are Intel, Disney, MasterCard, GE, Dubai Tourism, Emirates NBD, Dubai Police Headquarters, OSN and many more. With House of Social she uses creative strategies to make brands more human on social and digital platform, helping close the social media skills gap in the process.

Leadership lessons from Dubai
Rakesh Wahi, Tommy Weir
Friday, March 9, 10am

These authorities on business leadership discuss what it takes to succeed in a complex, competitive and fast-moving world, highlighting the leadership lessons that Dubai can offer the rest of the world. Rakesh Wahi (above) is a serial entrepreneur, chairman of CMA Investment Holdings, co-founder of ABN Group and co-founder of Trans National Education. His 2016 autobiography Be a Lion encourages readers to live fearlessly. Tommy Weir is an expert on leadership in emerging markets. He has helped more than 3,000 executives reach peak performance, and has won high praise for his book Leadership Dubai Style.

When to Jump
Mike Lewis
Friday, March 9, 12pm

This event is highly recommended for those who feel as though they are stuck in the wrong life – specifically the wrong job. After realising that his ‘perfect job’ wasn’t what he wanted, and that many others were in the same boat, Mike Lewis (above) founded When to Jump – a supportive community of people sharing stories of how they ‘jumped’ from one life to another. When to Jump has now reached millions of impressions through digital media, brand collaborations, and in-person experiences. Speaking with Dawn Metcalfe, Lewis will discuss his initiative and his new book that lays out the ‘jump curve’ – a four-step process for pursuing your dream.


How to do good
Muna Al Gurg, Frederic Kanoute, Emi Mahmoud, Mariela Shaker
Saturday, March 10, 2pm

One of the UAE’s leading businesswomen Muna Al Gurg joins Frederic Kanoute (above), Emi Mahmoud and Mariela Shaker to discuss the How to Do Good project – a collection of personal stories from thought leaders, celebrities, philanthropists and others to drive inspiring positive change. The four supporters of the movement will talk about the art of doing good, with project founder Leonard Stall introducing the session. Among her many roles, Al Gurg is chairwoman of Young Arab Leaders UAE and board member of the Al Gurg Foundation. Kanoute is a former professional footballer who runs his own foundation tackling poverty in Africa and Asia. Mahmoud is the World Poetry Slam champion and UNHCR High Profile Supporter. And Shaker is a violinist and White House Champion of Change.

K2 – The Tragedy and the Triumph
Adrian Hayes
Saturday, March 10, 4pm

Record-breaking adventurer, speaker, business coach, documentary presenter and campaigner Adrian Hayes will launch his new book K2 – The Tragedy and the Triumph at this year’s festival. The book is an intensely personal account of his attempts to climb K2 – the second highest and deadliest mountain in the world – in 2013 and 2014. Using his sometimes beautiful, sometimes brutal experiences on the mountain, Hayes offers powerful lessons useful for all of our lives as we look to conquer the mountains within us. Part of the Motivate Publishing portfolio, the book will be available to buy at the festival, as well as in bookstores across the UAE and online at booksarabia.com.

For further information about these events and others on the programme – including ticket details – visit emirateslitfest.com.

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