Emirates Literature Foundation welcomes DEWA as official sustainability partner

Official signing ceremony cements strong partnership and shared ambitions for a sustainable future


Dubai, UAE: Emirates Literature Foundation and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) announced today the signing of a new agreement which sees DEWA become the Official Sustainability Partner for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the largest and best-loved celebration of the written and spoken word in the Middle East.

HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Emirates Literature Foundation, said: “The Emirates Literature Foundation and the Festival keep going from strength to strength, having a proven positive impact on our diverse community. Sustainability is of vital importance to us all, and therefore a crucial conversation to be had at the Festival. We are in a unique position to inform, entertain, engage and lead by example.”

“We are pleased that DEWA is the Official Sustainability Partner of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. We are committed to working closely with government and private organisations that strive to instil a culture of reading and make it a way of life. This supports the vision of our wise leadership to establish a reading society in the UAE. We believe in the importance of reading in people’s lives and its role in the development of their societies. This contributes to enhancing Dubai’s position as a city with a strong knowledge-based economy, and strengthens the UAE's position as a capital for content, culture, and knowledge,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

“Our partnership with the Emirates Literature Foundation and our sponsorship of the sustainability programmes at the Festival complement our efforts to nurture a generation of readers who are tolerant, cultured, and aware of their role in supporting the National efforts to transform into a green economy. It also demonstrates our commitment to deepen the culture of sustainability to make conservation an essential part of individuals' daily lives, behaviours and habits,” added Al Tayer.

Isobel Abulhoul OBE, CEO and founder of Emirates Literature Foundation, said: “Our very reason for being here as a Foundation is to improve lives. We know the joy of reading gives people better opportunities in life, improves health and happiness, and gives countless other benefits. But it is all meaningless if we allow our planet to continue its rapid decline.

“We have been making a difference in people’s lives for 12 years. As a Festival that has grown out of its community to become one of the best-loved literary festivals in the world, we will continue to spearhead the conversations that bring real change. We don’t claim to have all the answers, but we bring together the people that can help us find them.

“We can look forward to inspiring speakers as part of a diverse strand which will give us an opportunity to change the world together.” 

The Festival is not only seeding conversations that spark change; it is leading by example. It has taken great strides towards becoming a sustainable event with the banning of all single-use plastic in 2019 and the installation of a free water fountain, which is estimated to have saved more than 11,000 disposable plastic bottles and 168,000kg of CO2. It has also implemented a green procurement policy which gives preference to sustainable options in everything from consultancy to paper choices. The 2020 Festival is planned to incorporate several additional green initiatives.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, The Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will return for its 12th edition 4-9 February 2020. It is held with the support of founding partners Emirates and Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, and will return for its 12th edition 4-9 February 2020 at InterContinental Dubai - Festival City.  The homegrown Festival brings people of all ages and backgrounds together with authors from around the world to promote the love of reading, writing and great conversation.

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


For more information, please contact:

Elise Butler

Tel: +971 (0)55 980 6697


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: www.emirateslitfest.com

About Emirates Airline

Emirates Airline is the world’s largest international airline, flying to 158 destinations in 85 countries. Emirates operates 268 aircraft and is the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 family of aircraft, with pending deliveries for an additional 231 aircraft. The airline’s luxurious amenities, regionally inspired gourmet cuisine, award-winning in-flight entertainment system – ice – and unmatched hospitality provided by its iconic multi-lingual Cabin Crew from over 130 nationalities have made Emirates one of the world’s most recognized airline brands. Emirates has been supporting the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature since 2009, and the event offers an opportunity for the airline to connect with customers in the UAE with a keen interest in literature, and Emirates is committed to  supporting the growing cultural, arts and creative industries in Dubai.

 About Dubai Arts & Culture Authority

On 8th March 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture). The mandate of the Authority is to serve as a dedicated entity for culture, arts, heritage, and literature in the Emirate of Dubai, and to drive the growth of the city’s artistic and cultural landscape.

Dubai Culture focuses on establishing Dubai as a regional and global centre for creativity, and also seeks to enhance the city's cultural identity in order to drive the creative economy. The Authority strives to enhance the quality of life for Dubai residents to help achieve a key pillar of the Dubai Plan 2021 objectives, which is to create a city of happy, creative, and empowered people. In May 2016, Dubai Culture was recognised as the first Happiness Partner to execute the Happiness Agenda in partnership with Smart Dubai. Under this, Dubai Culture will support Smart Dubai to lead a cultural shift in the city, through programmes and projects aimed at building awareness, and influencing individuals, businesses, and city leadership to prioritise happiness.

Under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture, the Authority has played an integral role in reinforcing Dubai’s position as a vibrant global centre for creativity, and in enhancing the city's cultural identity.

As part of its mandate to strengthen the city’s creative fabric by supporting the main disciplines of art – visual arts, performing arts, film, music, and literature, Dubai Culture drives and supports many initiatives in the Emirate’s cultural calendar including Dubai Art Season and SIKKA Art Fair.

Dubai Culture not only recognises talent, but also honours patrons that stand behind the growth of the landscape through awards like Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Awards. Additionally, aligning its focus towards literature, the Authority plays a leading role in supporting the UAE National Strategy for Reading 2026, which was launched in 2016 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Dubai Culture also manages eight Dubai Public Library branches and a strategic initiative was launched in early 2016 to renew all the public libraries, which are prominent centres for promoting culture and knowledge.

© Press Release 2019

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