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    What is a ‘LitFest’?

    A ‘LitFest,’ or a literary festival, brings together readers, writers and thinkers to celebrate books, writing and ideas. Audiences of all ages come together for author conversations, panel discussions about topical issues, writing workshops, poetry and spoken word performances, book signings and more.

     

    Since it began in 2009, the Emirates LitFest has been connecting local book lovers with the best literary talent the world has to offer. The Festival’s programme now includes musical performances, themed dinners and film screenings. With over 100 authors in attendance each year, Emirates LitFest is the biggest celebration of literature and ideas in the Middle East and the must-attend literary event of the UAE’s cultural calendar.

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      What are the dates of the next LitFest?

      The 2024 Emirates LitFest will take place from Wednesday 31 January to Tuesday 6 February. So mark your calendars now!

       

      Afraid you might miss something? Make sure you sign up to receive our newsletter or follow us on Instagram and X (formerly known as Twitter) so you don’t miss any Festival updates!

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        Where will the next Emirates LitFest take place?

        The 2024 LitFest will take place across three different locations. While specific special events are set to happen at Caravanserai and the Theatre of Digital Art (ToDA) at Madinat Jumeirah, the majority of the main Festival programme will unfold at the InterContinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City.

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          What authors are coming to the 2024 LitFest?

          The upcoming Festival will welcome an exciting line-up of international and local talent. And because it wouldn’t be the LitFest without some old friends, you’ll find a few familiar faces mixed in with plenty of new ones!

           

          With the LitFest entering an exciting new chapter, we’ve decided to do things a little differently this year. Just like every good book, we’ve been revealing our upcoming speakers and performers at key moments in our LitFest journey. But now, the time is finally here to unveil our full list of speakers and performers! Make sure you go through our complete line-up so you can decide which events you do not want to miss out on!

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            What can I do at the Emirates LitFest?

            There’s always plenty to see and do at the Emirates LitFest, no matter what your age, interests or your budget!

             

            LitFest veterans will want to mark their calendars as some of our special events will be returning this year, including a specially-curated murder mystery dinner and our signature night of poetry under the stars, Desert Stanzas.

             

            Families planning their time at LitFest will want to check out our diverse range of Family Activities, which has something for audience members of all ages to do each day!

             

            Looking for something a little later and livelier? Teens and older festival goers will want to hang back for our all-new LitFest After Hours programme, which features a fun range of musical performances, film screenings, artist souq and more — all of which can be accessed with the purchase of a single-day or a multi-day pass!

             

            There’s also lots to learn at LitFest! Aspiring authors or artists can sign up for one of our many workshops and learn how to hone their writing and storytelling skills with celebrated and award-winning authors from across the UAE and the world.

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              How do I buy tickets?

              Great question! As we’ve been steadily rolling out the line-up of speakers and performers for the 2024 LitFest, we’ll be doing our final reveal on 14 December 2023, after which tickets will go on sale for the general public. If you don’t want to risk an event selling out fast, you can always sign up for a Foundation Friends membership to ensure you get 48-hour early access!

               

              Please note that any children aged 3–12 attending a LitFest event must be accompanied by an adult, who must also purchase their own ticket.

               

              Children aged 2 and below can attend events for free but they are not guaranteed a seat.

               

              Sign up for the Festival newsletter or follow us on Instagram and X (formerly known as Twitter) so you don’t miss any updates!

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                What are LitFest Passes and how do I buy them?

                LitFest passes are a great way to experience a selection of festival events — all for one low price! This year we’re keeping things simple by offering three kinds of passes:

                 

                LitFest After Hours Pass: Get access to an exciting line-up of specially curated speaker conversations, performances, film screenings and more, running alongside our regular LitFest programme. You can either attend the entirety of each night’s events for a flat price of AED 40 OR you can save money and attend all 4 days for the low price of AED 120! The choice is yours!

                 

                Youth Day Pass: Perfect for any student focused on issues of the future and looking to network with their peers – 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.

                 

                Bil Arabi Pass: Fluent in Arabic? This pass will allow you to explore the many wonderful offerings of our Arabic Programme. From a late-night talk show with television host Ibrahim Ustadi to a conversation with the International Prize for Arabic Fiction winner Saud Alsanousi, there’s something for everyone!

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                  Will there be any free events at the 2024 LitFest?

                  Yes! While the Festival tries to remain as affordable and accessible as possible with plenty of reasonably priced events across our programme, we understand that not everyone might have the privilege of purchasing tickets to some of our upcoming events. With that in mind, we’ve introduced the concept of Discovery Talks, a series of 45-minute talks led by different speakers, taking place across the Festival weekend.

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                    Can I bring my family to the Emirates LitFest?

                    Yes! We curate our programme to be family-friendly so that all our attendees, no matter their age, will have the best time possible — and make plenty of special memories in the process! However, if you are planning on attending any events with your children, we ask that you note the following:

                     

                    Children aged two and below: Can attend events for free. However, there might not be a seat for them if the event is sold out. Please make sure the content is suitable for your child and that they do not disturb other Festival attendees.

                     

                    Children aged 3–12: Must be accompanied by an adult for children’s events and both the child and the accompanying adult are required to buy a ticket.

                     

                    Children aged 16 and below: Will only be allowed to attend adult sessions if accompanied by an adult who has consented to their attendance. Please make sure the content is suitable for your child before you purchase.

                     

                    Looking to save money and guarantee better seats at LitFest? Consider getting a Foundation Friends Family membership so you can save 20% on all tickets (including special events and workshops) and get priority seating! Just remember to get there at least 10 minutes before the event begins!

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                      How do I get a refund for my ticket or pass?

                      If a Emirates LitFest event is cancelled for any reason by the Festival, ticket-holders will receive an automatic refund.

                       

                      However, the booking fee will only be refunded if it is part of a complete order that has been cancelled. If the cancelled event is part of a larger order featuring other events, the booking fee will not be refunded.

                       

                      If you are unable to attend a LitFest event that you have purchased tickets for due to personal reasons, please note that you may request a refund from the LitFest by emailing tickets@emirateslitfest.com, but refunds will be granted on a discretionary basis. In this case, the booking fee will not be refunded.

Have a question about this year’s LitFest? We’re happy to provide you with the answers you seek, from practical details about this year’s events and more information about our venues and programme, to responses to other frequently asked questions.