The publications – which are a mix of original titles and translated work - shine a spotlight on local and locally based talent and showcases stories from the region on an international level


In line with their mission to publish stories about the region from Emiratis and expatriates and to capture the stories of times gone by and preserve the oral history of the region in written form, ELF Publishing, the publishing arm of Emirates Literature Foundation, is launching eight titles at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2024.

In the poetry genre, ELF Publishing launches The Girl of the Arabs – a collection of renowned Emirati nabti poet Ousha Bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi’s work compiled by Dr Rafia Ghubash and translated in English by Dr Nadia Khawandanah. In adult fiction, ELF Publishing will release the much-anticipated translation of Rose’s Diary (which was authored by Reem Al Kamali and shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2022) in English by Chip Rosetti.

The titles include children’s books Aisha’s Cake, which is a sequel to Aisha’s Pearl and features the adventures of an Emirati girl Aisha and her grandfather,  authored by Julia Johnson and illustrated by Maitha Al Khayat; A Dragon Called Blue, a picture book for children ages 3 and above, authored by Ebtisam Al-Beiti and illustrated by Timotius A Gracious; The Encyclopedia of the UAE, an informational and interactive guide about the history, geography and culture of the Emirates by Francesca Afleck; the translation of Aisha’s Pearl (authored by Julia Johnson and illustrated by Maitha Al Khayat) and Cleo the Completely Fine Camel (authored by Wendy Meddour and illustrated by Carmen Saldana) in Arabic by Noura Al Khoori.

Also of great interest to children and adults alike is Out Of This World, a photo journal of HE Dr Sultan Saif Alneyadi’s months long mission aboard the International Space Station.

Ahlam Bolooki, Managing Director of ELF Publishing said: ‘When we launched ELF Publishing in 2022, our aim was to discover compelling narratives that are unique to this region that are relevant in the grander scheme of the world and the current times. With the launch of these new books, we iterate our goal to support the local publishing industry and promote the voices of the local writers’ community. By translating Arabic works in English, we are amplifying the reach of our regional talents and creating opportunities for them to turn their writing into financially sustainable careers. We have come a long way in a very short span of time, and I invite all aspiring writers to share their manuscripts for consideration. I am excited to discover new authors and unearth new stories.’

All the books will be launched at the Emirates LitFest with events scheduled from 3-5 February 2024. The books will be available for purchase exclusively at Magrudys bookstores – online and in stores across the UAE.

For more information on ELF Publishing, visit their website or their socials. For more information on the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, visit their website and for the latest updates on the upcoming Festival follow @EmiratesLitFest on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn.