Hay Festival Abu Dhabi

Hay Festival Abu Dhabi brought writers and readers together for conversation and new ideas. From 25 to 28 February 2020, 99 internationally acclaimed writers and performers from 20 countries gathered together for four days of entertainment and inspiration. Thank you for joining us.

Highlights included Booker International Prize 2019 Winner Jokha Alharthi and Booker Prize 2019 Winner Bernardine Evaristo; novelists Mohammed Hasan Alwan, Ahdaf Soueif, Fatima Bhutto, Hoda Barakat, Ahmed Saadawi, Najwa Bin Shatwan, Youssef Rakha, Shahad Al Rawi, Miguel Syjuco; Nobel Prize-winners Wole Soyinka, Shirin Ebadi and Ahmed Galai; Historians William Dalrymple, Shashi Tharoor, Jung Chang, Baillie Gifford Prize 2019 winner Hallie Rubenhold, and thinkers Ahmed El Shamsy, Lydia Wilson, Bettany Hughes, Kapka Kassabova, Peter Frankopan, Jerry Brotton, and Mohammad al Murr; poets Qassim Haddad, Volker Braun, Zuleikha Aburisha, Pierre Joris, Serge Pey, Tishani Doshi, Inua Ellams and Yang Lian; scientists HE Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Izzeldin Abuelaish, Christophe Galfard and Marcus du Sautoy, food writer Hanan Sayed Worrell; film screenings in partnership with BBC Arabic News; music from Souad Massi, Seckou Keita with Catrin Finch, Mashrou’ Leila and Marcel Khalifé with Bachar Mar-Khalifé. The last night of the festival included a 90th birthday gala for Syrian poet Adonis – the greatest living Arabic poet.

The Festival took place at Manarat al Saadiyat alongside other venues across the capital and was supported by the UAE’s Ministry of Tolerance. Conversations took place in 7 languages, and all sessions were live translated into Arabic and English.