Buy Event Tickets

An Audience with Alexander McCall Smith

Event 1 Friday 2 March, 10am-11am Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Join us for an hour of mischief, laughter and master storytelling with one of the world’s most prolific and best-loved writers, Alexander McCall Smith. Author of more than 100 books including the internationally bestselling No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, 44 Scotland Street and Corduroy Mansions series, McCall Smith was recently awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor for Achievement in Literature by The National Arts Club of America.

Language: English

An Audience with Alexander McCall Smith

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Rhianna Pratchett: The Rise of the Tomb Raider

Event 8 Friday 2 March, 2pm-3pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Rhianna Pratchett’s remarkable career has seen her redefine video game storytelling, rebooting the Tomb Raider series and creating whole new worlds in Mirror’s Edge and Heavenly Sword. She also works to preserve the legacy of her father, Terry Pratchett, and his beloved Discworld books, ensuring that forthcoming adaptations of The Wee Free Men, The Watch and others are faithful to his vision and unique sense of humour. She is currently developing a TV series set in the world of the Arabian Nights.

Join us for this exploration of Rhianna’s writing and filmmaking careers, the challenges of reinventing gaming icon Lara Croft, and the importance of plenty of tea-drinking!

Language: English

Rhianna Pratchett: The Rise of the Tomb Raider

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich Asians

Event 65 Friday 2 March, 2pm-3pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Kevin Kwan
We’ve all wondered at how the super-rich live, but may not have seen the wild extravagance of it first-hand. Author Kevin Kwan has, and he’s here to reveal all about the world of the luxury-laden Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, from private jets to plastic surgery for pet fish.

The satirical series, which has been dubbed ‘a Chinese Dallas meets Pride and Prejudice’ for its portrayal of the gossip and scheming of a wealthy elite, has entertained readers worldwide and is now on its way to cinemas. This is your chance to get the inside story on those #richpeopleproblems from the author who knows them best!

Language: English

Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich Asians

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Nnedi Okorafor: Who Fears Death

Event 15 Friday 2 March, 4pm-5pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Meet the author responsible for ‘the next Game of Thrones’ set in post-apocalyptic Africa. Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death is being adapted for television by HBO and George RR Martin, and follows the journey of Onye – a woman on a quest for vengeance against her sorcerous father.

A winner of the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards as well as the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature, Nnedi’s recent work also includes the Binti trilogy, Lagoon, a story in a new Star Wars anthology and a comic starring pre-Islamic Arab hero Antar the Black Knight.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear from one of the rising stars of speculative fiction!

Language: English

Nnedi Okorafor: Who Fears Death

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Ibrahim Nasrallah: Dog War II

Event 24 Friday 2 March, 4pm-5pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

In 2006, Ibrahim Nasrallah finally fulfilled his dream of becoming a full-time writer. With the freedom to write, he has produced some of his best work, including the IPAF-shortlisted Time of White Horses, Lanterns of the King of Galilee and Kilimanjaro Spirit – the last inspired by his journey with volunteers and disabled Palestinian children to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

In this conversation he will talk about his writing, the challenges he faced growing up and his shift from telling the story of 250 years of recent Palestinian history to his surprise move into futuristic dystopian fiction in Dog War II.

Language: Arabic

Ibrahim Nasrallah: Dog War II

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Locke & Key: Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Event 22 Friday 2 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

The Eisner Award-winning Locke and Key comic series has sold more than a million copies and is already considered a modern comics classic, pitting a grieving family against the forces of evil and their own buried secrets.

For the first time in Dubai, the creators appear together on stage to discuss their work, an upcoming TV adaptation, and their reunion in Tales from the Darkside.

Joe Hill is the author of Locke and Key, as well as the novels Heart-Shaped Box, Horns, NOS4A2 and the Locus Award-winning The Fireman.

Gabriel Rodriguez is the illustrator of Locke and Key. He also won an Eisner Award for Little Nemo in Slumberland and recently launched his own original series, Sword of Ages.

Language: English

Locke & Key: Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Khaled Khalifa: Aleppo in Our Heart

Event 25 Friday 2 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Celebrated Syrian author Khaled Khalifa, twice shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, joins us to talk about his critically acclaimed writing and his love for his home city, Aleppo. His novels No Knives in the Kitchens of this City and In Praise of Hatred – both also published in English to widespread praise – portray the life of the city and its people over the period of history from the first world war to 2003 – a time of great social and cultural change.

Make sure to catch this important conversation for an author’s insight into the real Aleppo.

Language: Arabic

Khaled Khalifa: Aleppo in Our Heart

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Richard & Judy’s Festival Book Club

Event 29 Saturday 3 March, 10am-11am Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan found fame as Britain’s foremost daytime TV duo, and have since become the nation’s favourite book-loving couple.

In this session Richard & Judy meet with their pick of Festival authors for a live Book Club session.

The Panellists:

Kevin Kwan is the author of Crazy Rich Asians and its sequels China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems – a satire of Singapore’s uber-wealthy that has been a global hit with readers.

Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth was a standout title in the strong 2006 lineup for the Richard & Judy Book Club and picked up a British Book Award that year. She is working on a new series, the Burning Chambers Trilogy.

Shari Lapena’s gripping domestic thriller The Couple Next Door was a Richard & Judy pick in 2017 and bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic; her new book is A Stranger in the House.

Language: English

Richard & Judy’s Festival Book Club

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Digital Diplomacy: Omar Saif Ghobash & Thomas Fletcher

Event 42 Saturday 3 March, 2pm-3pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

In a world where heads of state can share every idle thought with the world at the push of a button, what’s a diplomat to do?

Two inspiring young diplomats who came of age in the digital era speak frankly about the state of international relations and how to make sure that technology is used responsibly by those with power.

Thomas Fletcher served as British Ambassador to Lebanon from 2011-2015 and is currently Visiting Professor of International Relations at NYUAD. He is the author of The Naked Diplomat: Understanding Power and Politics in the Digital Age.

Omar Saif Ghobash is the UAE’s Ambassador to France and a leading thinker on moderate Islam and the future of the Arab World. His book Letters to a Young Muslim was published in 2017 to international acclaim.

Language: English

Digital Diplomacy: Omar Saif Ghobash & Thomas Fletcher

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Shashi Tharoor: Inglorious Empire

Event 56 Saturday 3 March, 6pm-7pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

The British Empire is much mythologised but poorly understood, and its role in Indian history is frequently at the heart of this confusion.

Here to revisit this contested era of history is Shashi Tharoor, outspoken politician and equally outspoken author, whose viral talk on British looting in India led him to write Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India, a thoroughly researched history of British Imperial misrule.

Tharoor will be in conversation with William Dalrymple, author of White Mughals, The Last Mughal, and new book Kohinoor.

Language: English

Shashi Tharoor: Inglorious Empire

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Mohammed Hasan Alwan: A Small Death

Event 99 Thursday 8 March, 6.30pm-7.30pm Al Ras 1, InterContinental

Mohammed Hasan Alwan won the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction for A Small Death, a historical fiction novel about the great Sufi scholar Ibn Arabi.

Following Ibn Arabi on his extensive travels through the 12th Century Islamic world, A Small Death examines the evolution of one of the best known Arab scholars of all time against the backdrop of a colourful but tumultuous period of history, full of details of the traditions of the cities he visited and the insights this gave him into the human soul.

In this session Alwan will discuss this powerful book and what he learned while writing it.

Language: Arabic

Mohammed Hasan Alwan: A Small Death

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Andy Weir: The Martian and Beyond (Live Video Link)

Event 77 Friday 9 March, 10am-11am Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Authors: Andy Weir
Andy Weir shot to fame with The Martian, the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars after a mission gone wrong. Fans adored the humorous and scientifically plausible story, which won Weir the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and was adapted as a hugely successful film starring Matt Damon.

In this live video link session from his home in the US, Weir will reveal all about his Martian adventure and his new novel Artemis, in which smuggler Jazz Bashara gets caught up in a conspiracy in the first city on the moon.

Signed book plates will be available for books purchased at the Festival Bookshop after the session.

Language: English

Andy Weir: The Martian and Beyond (Live Video Link)

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Kate Adie: Women and War

Event 78 Friday 9 March, 12pm-1pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Kate Adie
Women kept the war machine running during World War One, and lives were changed forever. Are the repercussions still being felt 100 years on? Award-winning journalist Kate Adie has written about women and warfare in her highly acclaimed books Corsets to Camouflage and Fighting on the Home Front, and has extensive experience reporting from war zones around the world – including Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and the first Gulf War. Come along and share in unique insights into the vivid history of ordinary women and their extraordinary deeds in conflict, and the often unsung achievements of women in the armed services today.

Language: English

Kate Adie: Women and War

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Cheryl Strayed: Wild

Event 96 Friday 9 March, 6pm-7pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Cheryl Strayed’s life fell apart when she was 22. With nothing to lose, she packed an oversized backpack she called Monster and set off to walk the Pacific Crest Trail – 1000 miles of the American West’s extraordinary wilderness, from deserts to snow-capped mountains.

Her battle with the physical challenges of the trail and the grief that haunted her led her to write the acclaimed memoir Wild, which became the focus of Oprah’s Book Club and was adapted as a feature film starring Reese Witherspoon.

Join Cheryl as she relives that life-changing journey and shares the stories behind her other books, including the inspiring collection of quotes Brave Enough and her novel Torch.

Language: English

Cheryl Strayed: Wild

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Chetan Bhagat: One Indian Girl

Event 101 Friday 9 March, 6pm-7pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Authors: Chetan Bhagat
The biggest selling English-language author in India’s history, Chetan Bhagat’s novels and non-fiction alike provoke discussion on a wide range of social problems while entertaining millions of readers.

His seventh novel One Indian Girl explores the demands placed on young women caught between family, career and love, while the advice collected in Make India Awesome offers solutions to issues from religious fundamentalism to discrimination against women.

In his only appearance at the Festival, make sure not to miss Bhagat’s take on life in India today.

Language: English

Chetan Bhagat: One Indian Girl

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar
Levison Wood: Hitchhiking the Silk Road

Event 137 Saturday 10 March, 2pm-3pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Levison Wood
Bestselling author, explorer and photographer Levison Wood takes us on an epic journey across continents. In his new book Eastern Horizons: Hitchhiking the Silk Road, he recounts his shoestring budget journey from England to India and the eccentric (and occasionally dangerous) characters he encountered on the way. And for his next book, he’ll be mounting his most complex expedition yet, travelling around the Arabian Peninsula.

The winner of the 2016 Edward Stanford Adventure Travel Book Of The Year Award, Wood is a gripping speaker who has stories of adventures on five continents and whose busy schedule encompasses everything from filmmaking to saving elephants.

Language: English

Levison Wood: Hitchhiking the Silk Road

AED 75Foundation Friend: AED 56
  
Become a Foundation Friend
and get 25% off
add to calendar

Explore all Genres