Book Fest In the Shadow of the World’s Tallest Building

In Arabic Publishing by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

There are certain authors who seem to pop up on nearly every literary festival roster — we’re looking at you Alexander McCall Smith — and it always amazes me how such writers get their work done while spending so much time on the road. Then again, at least in the case of McCall Smith, one wonders how he gets so much work done period.

Had I just not flown back from the UAE — and had I more time myself to spare away from my desk — I would have really like to attend Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (now in it’s second year), which takes place this Wednesday through Saturday. It looks like blast, with lots of A-list authors — Martin Amis! Shobhaa Dé! Yann Martell! Abdo Khal! (Okay, I admit, I’d only just learned of Khal after he won the Arabic “Booker” last week).

What’s more, it all takes place at the InterContinental Hotel Event Centre at Dubai Festival City, all in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest building, at 2,080 feet — which I had the pleasure of seeing first-hand last weekend. I must say, it’s one impressive building — shrouded in mist like it was last Friday night, with the blinking lights going up it’s spine, it looked like quite literally like a rocket ready to take off. Impressive!

But not as impressive as the line-up for the literary festival. You don’t need to take off for the stars, you’ve got them right here on Earth.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.