‘Cultural Faces’: a combination of arts and literature


– An innovative platform by Dubai Culture to celebrate literature pioneers from around the world as part of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

– The role of culture is emphasized in improving individual life and in developing society. 

– Audiences will witness fine arts from prominent Syrian artist Hassan Idlibi.

– Dubai’s cultural scene will enhance and consolidate the emirate’s position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Based on its awareness of the important role that culture plays in improving individual life and in developing society, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is shedding light on a prominent group of cultural pioneers in the UAE and the Arab world through the innovative ‘Cultural Faces’ platform during this year’s edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. This platform will grant visitors the opportunity to experience the blending of combining literature and arts through the eyes of the prominent cartoonist Hassan Idlibi.

This initiative comes in line with Dubai Culture’s role as the concerned government entity responsible for empowering the cultural and creative sector in Dubai as well as in line with the Authority’s keenness to enhance the cultural scene in the emirate by supporting initiatives and projects that would achieve its vision to position Dubai as a global centre for art and culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent. The initiative also aligns with Dubai Culture’s efforts to enable effective cultural participation everywhere for all segments of society and to strengthen the global cultural footprint of the emirate, as part of the sectoral pillars of the Authority’s 2020-2025 updated strategic roadmap.

Through ‘Cultural Faces,’ Dubai Culture celebrates a group of local, Arab and international cultural pioneers, including Arab literary giants, such as Emirati poet, writer and researcher Ahmed Rashid Thani; Emirati poet and writer Habib Yousuf Abdallah Al Sayegh; Palestinian poet and author Mahmoud Darwish; Egyptian author and novelist Naguib Mahfouz; Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani; poet and writer Ghazi Al Gosaibi; Saudi writer and critic Abdul Rahman Munif; among many others, in addition to a group of local and international contemporary writers and researchers, most prominent of which is Emirati writer and researcher Dr Rafia Ghubash; Emirati writer and storyteller Muhammad Ahmad Al-Murr; Bahraini poet Qassim Haddad; and Turkish writer and novelist Orhan Pamuk.

As part of this platform, Hassan Idlibi will create drawings celebrating the faces of the literature pioneers to provide a rich experience for visitors of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Idlibi has a legacy of journalistic painting spanning more than twenty years and across several countries. Prior to joining Al Roeya newspaper, he has worked over the past 10 years at Al Bayan newspaper and the Sultan Bin Zayed Center for Culture and Information.

Dubai Culture’s contributions to the festival also include a speech by the Authority’s Director-General, Her Excellency Hala Badri, as part of a joint session with His Excellency Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al-Marri, Director-General of the General Administration of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, on immigration and cultural visa laws in the UAE. The session will highlight how the UAE plans to build a sustainable society by attracting talented people and the importance of creative talents to the country’s strategy in building a prosperous future for upcoming generations.

The activities organised by Dubai Culture in this edition of the festival align with the pillar ‘Highlighting Emirati Talents,’ which will be presented by the Authority on 4 February at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City Hotel. The event will include sessions on publishing, translation, cinematography and other related topics, all of which will be presented in Arabic, with instantaneous translation accompanying some.As part of Dubai Culture’s keenness to develop the passion for knowledge and reading among all segments of society, as well as build bridges of knowledge and cultural communication between the UAE community and local and international creators, writers and poets, the Authority has been continuously supporting the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, organised by the Emirates Literature Foundation, since its launch in 2009 and up to its current 13th edition. The Authority’s portfolio for this year comprises rich contributions aimed at encouraging the public to attend and participate in the festival’s activities.