Dubai welcomes authors from 33 nations to Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2017 today. The Festival takes place over nine days from 3-11 March and is held during the UAE’s 2017 Month of Reading. Featuring more than 180 authors, including 70 authors from the UAE and the Arab World and 120 authors attending for the first time, not to be missed events include sessions with master storyteller Jeffrey Archer, celebrated Emirati writer Dr Hamad Al Hammady, Queen of Crime Writers Kathy Reichs, veteran Emirati author AbdullAziz AlMusallam and multi award-winning journalist Christina Lamb.

Festival highlights include #CookforSYRIA. In this UAE Year of Giving, the Festival hosts the Cook for Syria fundraising dinner where all proceeds from the event go to Emirates Red Crescent and proceeds from the #CookForSYRIA book sales go directly to UNICEF’s Children of Syria Fund. Murder Mystery Dinner is back with a killer script and a three-course meal to keep audience’s taste buds as entertained as their ‘little grey cells’; and enjoy Desert Stanzas, an evening under the stars in a traditional desert camp, with an Arabian feast, a flickering campfire and performances by world-renowned poets.

Aspiring writers can book their place on one of the three Residential Creative Writing Courses, conducted by award-winning international authors from 5-7 March.

Dubai International Publishing Conference will address all aspects of the industry from starting up a business to managing runaway bestsellers, held from 5-6 March.

Ticket prices start at AED 40 and many children’s events and activities are available free of charge. Tickets can be purchased on the Festival website (tickets.emirateslitfest.com) or via the ELF Dubai app, available on the iOS and Google Play app stores and at Magrudy’s outlets around the UAE.