Emirates Literature Foundation makes new appointments to its senior management team

New Heads of Programming and Education announced

Flora Rees, Head of Programming

Flora Rees, Head of Programming

Dubai: The Emirates Literature Foundation has announced three new appointments to the senior management team.

Aedan Lake becomes the lead for the Foundation’s Strategic Programme Development and Creation, with a focus on developing the year-round programme and overall strategic direction of the Foundation’s events, which includes the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Lake, a former bookseller, has held a variety of roles at the Foundation, having worked with the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature from its beginning.

Flora Rees moves from Head of Education and Publishing to become Head of Programming. With a career in publishing as a senior editor for international bestselling authors such as Victoria Hislop, Rees brings a wealth of experience to the role, and will look at creating a programme that thrills, entertains and educates diverse audiences, encompassing all genres of books and the spoken and written word in all its forms.

Ranya Abdel Rahman replaces Rees as Head of Education and Publishing, moving up to the role with years of experience in the Foundation and the Education team, and a particular interest in encouraging children to read in Arabic for pleasure.

Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation said: “I am delighted to announce these important appointments which will further strengthen the management team, utilising their skills and experience to the greatest effect. All three have shown that they have a great passion for the Festival and the Foundation’s mission to champion reading in the UAE, and their leadership and contributions will be a huge asset as the Foundation moves forward, upholding the Festival’s reputation as one of the leading international literary festivals in the world.”

The 11th Emirates Airline Festival of Literature which was held from 1-9 March 2019, reached more than 45,000 people and engaged with more than 30,000 students. 100 per cent of attendees polled on the day saying that they would recommend it to a friend. Details of the 2020 Festival will be announced shortly.

Established in 2009, the Festival is 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 and in partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).

More information about the Emirates Literature  Foundation can be found online and year-round news of #EmiratesLitFest on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.


For more information, please contact:
Nana Mancell
Tel: +971 4 355 9844 (Ext 420)
Aya Sharaf
Tel: +971 4 355 9844 (Ext 423)

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 return in 2020.

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 2019 the Festival reached  more than  45,000 people through the Festival’s main programme of events  which featured Ahmed AlShugairi, Chris Gardner, Darcey Bussell, Jane Hawking, Saud Alsanousi, Douglas Coupland, Ian Rankin, Jeff Kinney, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, among many others. The 2018 Festival starred David Walliams, Jacqueline Wilson, His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash, Anthony Horowitz and Shashi Tharoor.

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 more than 30,000 students across the UAE in 2019. 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 back for 2020.

For information and updates about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature visit the website: www.emirateslitfest.com 

© Press Release 2019

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