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The Emirates Literature Foundation focuses on bringing literature to life for students of all ages, working with their schools, universities, libraries and teachers to enhance their enjoyment of reading for pleasure and offer them new opportunities and ideas.

Education events held at the annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and throughout the year give students from across the UAE the chance to meet inspiring authors and discover new books. Alongside this, the Foundation’s popular annual competitions and creative courses encourage students to unlock their own potential in reading and writing, and fuel a lifelong love of words.

Year-Round Student Competitions

Montegrappa Letter Writing Competition

The Montegrappa Letter Writing Competition celebrates both the aesthetic of handwriting and well crafted messages. This competition is open in Arabic and English. Click here to learn more.

Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition

The inspiration for the 2021 competition is ‘Change the story’. The competition is held in Arabic and English. Winners will be honoured at a prizegiving event at the 2021 Festival, and all the winning entries will be published in a book. Click here to learn more.

Emirates NBD Poetry For All (Previously known as the Qasidah Par Coeur Competition)

Emirates NBD Poetry For All is the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature’s annual competition celebrating poetry performance and recital. Students are invited to learn poetry by heart, giving an emotional response to the language and ideas of the poet. It honours the strong oral tradition which exists in the Arab world. Click here to learn more.

Readers Cup Competition

The Readers’ Cup is a competition whereby teams of students (maximum four per team) read and study a selection of books chosen by the Festival. In light of the current pandemic of COVID-19 and taking into account social distancing measures, the first round will be held virtually and will consist of an online written quiz. The20 teams with the highest scores in each age group go head to head in the finals held in March during the Month of Reading. Click here to know more.

Student Events at Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

Paid Students Sessions

The Emirates Literature Foundation is a non-profit making organisation which aims to foster a life-long love of all forms of reading. To enable us to reach as many young readers as possible, some of our events are paid; these paid events help support our broad education programme. During the Festival, the Paid Student Sessions are those events that we feel have strong educational value and often link directly to the curriculum. More information about the paid sessions at the 2021 Festival to come.

Livestream Selected Student Sessions!

We hold popular and engaging Free Student Sessions in Arabic and in English, featuring well-loved and bestselling authors. We do our best to accommodate as many schools as possible, and in 2020 we also live streamed three selected Education Sessions to schools across the country.

Author School Visits

Many of our inspiring authors kindly agree to visit schools, colleges and universities in Dubai. We try incredibly hard to be fair and accommodating, balancing the preferences of authors with the requests of the schools. Much as we would love to find an author for every school, there are more schools than visiting authors. More information about author school visits during the 2021 Festival to come.

The Fringe

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature’s Fringe stage will return to feature stunning performances by hundreds of children and young adults from across the UAE. More information about how to take part in the Festival Fringe programme during the 2021 Festival to come.


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