Dubai: The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature reveals its strong business and leadership strand, which sees world class experts deliver powerful advice on how to boost business potential. Sessions will help the audience prepare for career success and future leadership.  

The Festival, which is held from 1-9th March, will host a dynamic programme on business and leadership covering topics as diverse as the intriguing impact of artificial intelligence on our future world, effects of globalisation’s merger with technology, workplace health, compassion, emotional intelligence, communication, sustainability and much more, all providing essential insights on how to transform businesses and careers for future success.

The LitFest Business Breakfast

This high energy power breakfast (Thursday 7 March) has communication skills and compassion in the workplace on the agenda, along with advice on how to be true to yourself when following your own career path. The panel includes H.E. Raja Al Gurg, M.D. of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, who regularly appears in lists of the Middle East’s most powerful women; Dawn Metcalfe, an executive and leadership coach; Kristin Sherry, career consultant and author of the best-selling book, YouMap: Find Yourself; and leading businessman Gaurav Sinha, author of Compassion Inc, which outlines the economics of empathy.

Later in the day the UAE Business Roundtable discusses how to overcome challenges and build a successful business. This valuable interactive session provides the knowledge needed to turn your business into a profitable enterprise from pioneers who have thrived in the rewarding, but sometimes challenging UAE business environment. The panel includes Alexandra Maia , CEO and Founder of House of Social; Richard Dean, presenter of The Business Breakfast on Dubai Eye 103.8, and co-founder of Roar Interior Design; Paul Evans, who overcame dyslexia and a troubled youth to become an award-winning entrepreneur and CEO of a $100 million business empire; and Fadi Hammadeh, the General Counsel for the Al Futtaim Group, author of Family Business Continuity in the Middle East & Muslim World: Betting Against the Odds.

Future Worlds

The impact of artificial intelligence on our lives, particularly within the workplace, is considered in a number of intriguing sessions. What kinds of jobs are left when everything is automated? Will we have any privacy in a world monitored by computers? Find the answers you need in ‘Let’s Talk About Artificial Intelligence’ with award-winning transportation engineer Samuel I Schwartz, whose latest book is No One at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road of the Future. He’ll be discussing the way ahead with the general director of artificial intelligence at Dubai Police, Brigadier Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi. In a similar vein, Richard Baldwin, one of the world's leading globalization experts and the author of The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics, and the Future of Work, warns that the inhuman speed of this transformation threatens to overwhelm us, and disrupt the working lives of millions in unprecedented ways. He will explain how to prepare for an uncertain future in his solo session, and also evaluates the impact on our jobs in the panel discussion ‘The Job Machine - are we becoming Obsolete?’ Joining him will be transport guru Sam Schwartz and Dawn Metcalfe, executive coach and leadership expert, who will discuss our relationship with our jobs and societies in a changing world of artificial intelligence - what are we contributing that makes us irreplaceable as a workforce?

Gerd Leonhard considers the same issues in ‘Technology versus Humanity’. Named as one of the top 100 most influential people in Europe by Wired Magazine, futurist Gerd Leonhard’s remarkable grasp on how recent breakthroughs will affect our lives covers everything from the future of music to the transformations sweeping the business sphere. In his book Technology vs Humanity, he looks at the imminent clash between technology and humanity – will it alter the meaning of being human? Learn how to navigate the coming changes from an inspiring speaker.


The challenges that women face in the workforce are considered by international leadership expert Sally Helgesen. She has trained thousands of high achievers - men and women - to reach new heights but sees that women face specific and different challenges from men as they advance in the workplace. In her book How Women Rise, Sally identifies the 12 habits that hold women back as they seek to advance, drawing on decades of stories and insights. This talk is essential guidance for women seeking advancement in their careers.

The secrets of leadership are also considered by Ben Lyttleton, who looks at the nature of talent. As a journalist and football consultant, he has gained unprecedented access to some of the world's top football clubs to discover their innovative methods for developing talent - and reveals how we can use them in our everyday lives to gain the edge. 


Leadership coach Dawn Metcalfe explores those uncomfortable conversations we have been avoiding. Discover the science and art behind why we’d rather ‘put up’ instead of ‘turn up’ and how you can effectively have the difficult conversations that make all the difference.

In today’s information-saturated world, it’s next to impossible to capture and keep a listener’s attention – unless you have a strong personal voice. Communication expert Kim A. Page shares her time-tested strategies to enable you to connect with people and access the full potential of your voice as a communication tool. Join her to discover how to use your presence, voice and body language to impact the world. 

Compassion, Happiness and Emotional Intelligence

Gaurav Sinha is the author of Compassion Inc, which outlines the economics of empathy for life and for business at a time when conscience, ethics, and authenticity are high on the agenda. A world-class businessman and entrepreneur, he shows how successful businesses can be used as a force for good. 

Employee wellbeing is a growing area of concern around the world. Learn more about the strains that long hours and a deskbound life place on our minds and bodies in the session ‘Happiness at Work’ with Dr. Mansoor Anwar Habib, a Consultant in Family Medicine & Occupational Health at Du, and Dr. Saeed Abdullah Al Madhloum, the author of ''Manager’s Pet'' and a lecturer at Dubai Police Academy. They share what they have learned about employee wellbeing and discuss the latest expert advice in workplace health.

Hand-in-hand with happiness at work is emotional intelligence, the key to building successful relationships. We’ve brought together an expert panel to discuss how we can use emotional intelligence to find greater understanding in the way we relate to others, improving relationships in the workplace and beyond. Join bestselling Saudi author, broadcaster and columnist Dr. Abdullah Al Maghlooth along with Dr. Sherif Arafa, author of How to Become a Human?, and Dr. Mansoor Anwar Habib, a consultant in Family Medicine and Occupational Health, to find out how using emotional intelligence can bring you greater success.

Our work-life balance is always an issue. Katherine Ormerod tells us why our lives are being ruined by being permanently online. She maintains that social media and the internet have set destructive standards of flawlessness and comparison, rewired our behavioural patterns, destroyed our confidence and shattered our attention spans. Journalist Ormerod is now the editor of Work Work Work, the anti-perfectionist platform and content consultancy. In this session Ormerod gives us the tools we need to control our own online lives, rather than being controlled by them.

Sustainability and Business

Recent warnings on global warming are leading us to look more and more at sustainability. How will that impact on the business of food? This is a hard-hitting session featuring Danish food writer and chef Trine Hahnemann, an enthusiastic advocate for sustainable solutions, organic sourcing and food cooked with love. She will be joining environmentalist and conservationist HE Dr Majid Al Qassimi, Director of Animal Health and Development at the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, discussing the steps we all need to take to ensure that the food we eat is sustainable. What impact will this have on our businesses, the social and cultural concept of meals and on our environment?

After water and air, sand is the natural resource that we consume more than any other - even more than oil. Every concrete building and paved road on Earth, every computer screen and silicon chip, is made from sand. It's the ingredient that makes possible our cities, our science, our lives--and our future. And, incredibly, we're running out of it. In The World In A Grain, award-winning journalist Vince Beiser takes readers on a journey across the globe to explain why sand is so crucial to modern life.

Hands-on Help with our Masterclasses 


In the world of business we need to be able to tell a good story to empathise, connect and build strong working relationships. Author Rehan Khan has put his storytelling skills into business practice and will explain the kinds of stories organizations need to tell and how to use basic storytelling principles to do so. 

Healthy Work Environment

Dr Mansoor Anwar Habib will teach us how to become workplace wellness champions and improve productivity and engagement by developing wellness initiatives that promote individual health while fostering a healthy work environment. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how the workplace can encourage healthy habits that help prevent health problems, as well as great tools and resources to develop or enhance their employee wellness.

Career Path

Are you on the right career path, and how will you know when you get there? Kristin Sherry is a career consultant and will take you through the YouMap method using interactive activities to give you the tools you need to begin to move your career in the right direction.

Crafting a Compelling Bio: Writing Workshop

Most of us find it challenging to write our own bio. How do we get started, and how do we choose what to include and what is needed for a powerful bio that reflects our business value? Join this workshop with Kim A. Page, who’ll help you access your writing joy and get going with your bio outline. 

Control Your Time Workshop

Perhaps the biggest challenge for many of us, whatever field we work or study in, is how to manage our time, especially if we have many tasks and responsibilities. Awad Al Darmaki will teach you how it is possible to make time your ally in work and how to change the way you manage your time to be more effective and productive.

Details of all sessions can be found online at

The Festival programme is brimming with sessions to engage, entertain and inform, with topics encompassing fiction, history, current affairs, food, health, travel, biography, business and more. There are opportunities to appreciate poetry, take part in creative writing workshops and generally indulge in intelligent and articulate discussion on a wide range of topics. Sessions appeal to all ages and nationalities, featuring outstanding authors, thinkers and opinion formers.

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. The Festival is organised in partnership with Emirates Airline and Dubai Culture & Art Authority. The Festival will be kicking off Dubai Culture’s flagship art initiative Dubai Art Season (DAS), which features a two-month citywide activation of art events across Dubai.

More information about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature can be found online. The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will take place 1-9 March 2019. Fans can keep up to date with #DubaiLitFest action on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and year-round news of #ELFDubai on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.


For more information, please contact:

Halima Islam

Tel: +971 55 985 3382

Rahaf Awad

Tel: +971 55 591 0723

About the Emirates Literature Foundation:

The Emirates Literature Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which supports and nurtures a love of literature in the United Arab Emirates and the region, through a programme of varied cultural initiatives.

Established in 2013 by Royal Decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Foundation aims to foster a love for literature, with a focus on the Arabic language.

In line with the National Reading Policy of the UAE, the Foundation has implemented several long-term projects including the School Librarian of the Year Award and the annual Arabic Language Week, as well as conducting year-round student education programmes, book clubs and creative writing courses. The Foundation’s previous initiatives included the 2016 Dubai Translation Conference and the 2017 Dubai International Publishing Conference, which hosted a number of international participants.

The Foundation is also the governing body of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the UAE’s premier literary festival, which will be held from 1-9 March, 2019.

Emirates Literature Foundation

Dar Al Adaab

Al Shindagha Historical Neighbourhood

PO Box 24506

Dubai, UAE

About the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature:

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is the Arab World’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, featuring international and regional writers, poets, thinkers and speakers from around the world. In 2018, 41,780 visitors enjoyed the Festival’s main programme of events starring David Walliams, Jacqueline Wilson, His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash, Anthony Horowitz and Shashi Tharoor, among many others.

The aim of the Festival is to develop a culture of reading as an enjoyable habit in the UAE, and its efforts have been recognised through many awards over the years. By providing an equal platform for international and locally-based talents, the Festival continues to build the literary landscape in the UAE and further afield.

Alongside the main programme, the Festival organises an Education programme, which positively impacted on 28,000 students across the UAE in 2018. The programme includes education days, student sessions and author school visits where young people meet and interact with their favourite authors, plus student competitions, held in Arabic and English, which allow young people to showcase their skills through poetry, short stories and reading.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Festival is a key part of the Emirates Literature Foundation, which was established in 2013 by Royal Decree. In partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, arts, and culture, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will be on from 1-9 March 2019.

For information and updates about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature visit the website:

© Press Release 2019

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