DUBAI, 4th February, 2022 (WAM) — H.H Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), attended the official ceremony of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (EAFOL) 2022. Held under the theme ‘Here Comes the Sun’, the 2022 edition of the Festival features some of the biggest literary figures in the UAE and across the globe.
The official ceremony of the Festival began with the launch of the new publishing house ‘ELF Publishing LLC’ that was recently announced by the Emirates Literature Foundation in partnership with Dubai Culture as part of joint efforts to promote promising local talent. Writers participating in the Festival welcomed the new publishing initiative. One of the world’s leading literary events, the Festival is being held at Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City and Al Habtoor Palace Hotel from 3rd – 13th February.
Sheikha Latifa highlighted the important role played by the event in supporting the development of Dubai’s and the UAE’s literary ecosystem. She underlined the Authority’s keenness to support such cultural events, which serve as a platform for creative talent to showcase their achievements and promote constructive cultural dialogue. H.H. also praised the new publishing house initiative as an important step in strengthening the growth of the literary community and publishing sector as well as supporting the development of literary talent in the UAE.
She further highlighted the vital role of the Festival in nurturing local talent and creating forums for them to engage with international writers and intellectuals. Consistent with Dubai’s ethos of cultural inclusiveness, the Festival offers an invaluable opportunity for lovers of literature and culture to participate in enriching interactions between writers from the UAE and across the world who bring distinctive creative perspectives and literary voices, Sheikha Latifa said.
The official ceremony was also attended by Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth; Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, Chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation;Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture; Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation; Ahlam Bolooki, Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature; Jennifer Malton, COO of the Emirates Literature Foundation; and a group of local and international writers.
The official ceremony concluded with the beautiful voices and captivating melodies of the UAE Youth Choir, who began the event with the UAE national anthem and went on to perform a variety of lyrical pieces.
The Emirati Cultural Day held with the support of Dubai Culture, where the first day of the Festival, saw a rich set of sessions and workshops featuring distinguished Emirati writers. The event featured readings of stories, poetry, and panel discussions on a variety of topics, including cinematic writing, the role of women in education, collectable arts, and more.
Hala Badri, accompanied by a group of officials from the Authority, attended a panel discussion titled ‘Future of the Creative Economy’ during Emirati Cultural Day. The panel featured Emirati writer Noora Al Awadhi; Emirati singer, composer and producer Abdullah Almestrih Alnuaimi; Waheeda AlHadhrami from the Ministry of Culture and Youth; and Italian artist, curator and art producer Giuseppe Moscatello. The panel was chaired by Dr. Ashraf Ali Mahate, Chief Economist at Dubai Industries and Exports, an agency of the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism.
During the discussion, the panellists discussed the roles of literature and the arts in the country’s creative economy and investment opportunities in the sector. The session also discussed how a wide range of literary and artistic activities, including podcasts, cinema, games, music, and more can contribute to the growth of the creative economy.
Badri noted that the creative economy plays a vital role in the global economy and constitutes one of the key sectors that can enhance a country’s profile on the international cultural map. She stressed that Dubai Culture’s strategic roadmap gives the highest priority to the development of creativity and innovation in the emirate within the broader framework of creating an economic system that fosters cultural development. The roadmap also seeks to transform Dubai into the global capital of the creative economy by 2025 and raise its attractiveness as a destination for talent in various creative sectors.