A new edition of Hay Festival will take place at venues in Abu Dhabi from 25 to 28 February 2020. The city’s cultural centre, Manarat al Saadiyat, will host internationally acclaimed authors and thinkers over four days of entertainment and inspiration.
With Hay Festival Abu Dhabi, Hay Festival returns to the Arab world, building on the success of its three editions in Beirut (2009–2012) and the publication of its celebrated anthology of short stories by the best Arab writers under the age of 39, many of whom are now distinguished authors and journalists.
Since 1987, Hay Festival has programmed 125 festivals globally, attracting more than 4.5 million people to events in 30 locations. The festivals bring together writers and thinkers from different cultures, languages and walks of life to discuss ideas openly, share knowledge in all its forms, and host conversations which may not happen otherwise. Each festival is firmly rooted in the respective local communities and literary traditions, while sharing the same culture of generosity and celebration that permeates all editions of the festival and everything it does. Hay Festival aims to spark everyone’s imagination and curiosity, from children to young literature enthusiasts to seasoned readers.
In Abu Dhabi, the festival will host internationally acclaimed authors and thinkers including: Nobel Laureates Ahmed Galai and Shirin Ebadi; Lebanese novelist Hoda Barakat, winner of the 2019 International Prize for Arabic Fiction; Jokha Alharthi, winner of the International Booker Prize; the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction winner Muhammed Hasan Alwan; award-winning poet and novelist Tishani Doshi; and many more. Hay Festival Abu Dhabi will also invite diverse voices to tell stories, sampling the best of contemporary international and Arab literature, including poets from the UAE’s vibrant spoken word and slam poetry scene. Conversations will take place in Arabic or English, and all sessions will be live translated into Arabic and English.