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Emirates LitFest 2023: The Most Engaging Sessions to Not Miss This Year

Desert Stanzas. Photo: Courtesy of Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

More than 250 of the world’s most sought-after authors and literary personalities will be in Dubai from February 1-6, 2023 for the 15th edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. The biggest celebration of stories in the Arab region and one of the top literary festivals in the world has an exciting schedule of unmissable sessions, and with just a few weeks to go until the event, here are some of them worth tuning in to.

Brian Cox: Shakespeare, Success & Succession

Emmy-award-winning movie and theatre icon Brian Cox, currently best known for his role as the machiavellian patriarch in the hit series Succession, will be at the festival to tell his own rags-to-riches life story, discussing his journey to success and his ongoing experience from within the showbiz industry. Don’t miss the chance to hear the formidable man behind the legend.

Details: Thursday, February 2, 2023, InterContinental Dubai Festival City

Girl Bosses & Go-Getters by Ann Hiatt, Ghizlan Guenez, and Rissa Mananquil Trillo

From Silicon Valley success to tech entrepreneurship and building a world-class beauty brand, this panel of high-achieving female entrepreneurs and working women will discuss the challenges they face as they aim to climb the corporate ladder, as well as outline their individual realities and experiences of ambition and work culture in the 21st century.

Details: Sunday, February 5, 2023, InterContinental Dubai Festival City

Cecelia Ahern

Cecelia Ahern

One of the world’s best-selling authors, Ahern’s novels have been translated into 35 languages with two of them – P.S. I Love You and Love, Rosie – adapted into films. She will be bringing insights on how to write warm, uplifting, empathetic stories that enthrall and resonate with millions of people around the world.

Vex King and Kaushal

Discover how to become the best version of yourself with this husband-wife duo: Vex King is a mind coach and Sunday Times’ no. 1 bestselling author, while partner Kaushal is a makeup artist and content creator. Together, they will take you on a journey of self-exploration, explaining how to healthily process and regulate your emotions and, through the process of journalling, track your personal growth and build self-awareness. With proven techniques to shift negative mindsets and cultivate positive thought patterns, they will reveal how to build and maintain routines and habits that work for you.

Details: Thursday, February 2, 2023, InterContinental Dubai Festival City

Does The Devil Still Wear Prada?: Alexandra Shulman, Kat Farmer, and Kaushal

Kat Farmer

A trio of experts, Alexandra Shulman, the fashion expert, journalist, and formerly the longest-serving editor of British Vogue; Kat Farmer the stylist and presenter on BBC’s You Are What You Wear; and Kaushal Beauty, a renowned regional make-up artist, and social influencer will join forces to reveal their essential beauty and style tips—from trends to classics.

In another session, Shulman will explore her time as the editor of Vogue, taking guests on a journey into the world of fashion as she talks all things style.

Details: Saturday, February 4 and Sunday, February 5, 2023, InterContinental Dubai Festival City

 A Dinner with Bobby Chinn

Bobby Chinn

Join the celebrity chef and acclaimed Top Chef Middle East judge as he shows how elegant dining can have a focus on sustainability with an exclusively crafted menu accompanied by a fireside chat with the man himself.

Details: Friday, February 3, and Saturday, February 4, 2023, InterContinental Dubai Festival City

Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer

Among the top novelists taking part in the program, Jeffrey Archer is an author and former politician who has topped the bestseller lists around the world. When it comes to writing a bestselling novel, there is arguably no one better. Archer will be talking about how he creates his charismatic characters and riveting plots, as well as providing an exploration into his next book in the William Warwick series.

Details: Saturday, February 4, and Sunday, February 5, 2023, InterContinental Dubai Festival City

Spoken Word

On Thursday, February 2, an open mic night will be held in an outdoor setting at Mohammed bin Rashid Library’s Amphitheatre, inviting the region’s brightest poets to share their artistic flair during an eclectic, inclusive showcase of the best home-grown spoken word talent.

Desert Stanzas

The festival’s much-loved signature event will make its return on the opening night, featuring poetry renditions and narratives that encourage reminiscing and paying tribute to ancestral wisdom and cultures of the past. There will also be an homage to the preservation of the planet and the Cop 28 story, interpreted through performance.

Details: Wednesday, February 1, Desert Camp in Jebel Ali

For more information and tickets, visit

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