In Dubai, the 14th Emirates Airline Literature Festival is attracting bookworms. The greatest celebration of the written and spoken word in the Arab world found a new home at the Hilton Al Habtoor City hotel.
British comedian and international children's author David Walliams was one of the big draws at this year's event. The author of 'Gangsta Granny' and 'Mega Monster' told euronews: "It's wonderful to be invited to a book festival because you meet a lot of fellow writers and a lot of readers too. Books are a very special bond you have with your readers ."
The festival also celebrates Charles Dickens' 210th birthday. His great-great-great-granddaughter and author Lucinda Dickens-Hawksley hosted a number of events.
"One of the things I love about literary festivals is that they bring together people from all walks of life and from all parts of the world. And over the past two years we've seen how lonely people get when they're not allowed to travel," he said she.
She added: "Dickens would have loved a literary festival like this. He was one of the first people to go on some kind of modern reading tour. He was often considered the first modern author because he traveled to America and Canada. He traveled through Italy and talked about his books."
The festival attracts a wide range of international and local literary talent. Local author and illustrator Maitha Al Khayat spoke to euronews about her contribution to cultural understanding. "I think when we write stories about our culture, it just shows who we are and where we come from. And I think that's really important," she said, before joking, "We can create so many amazing stories from our Shake our sleeves tucked under our abayas. We're bursting at the seams with stories. We want to share them with the world and this is the perfect place for it."