Everything you need to know about Abu Dhabi’s first Hay Festival

Guest speakers, children's authors and more are coming to the capital

Everything you need to know about Abu Dhabi’s first Hay Festival

The Hay Festival is coming to Abu Dhabi for the very first time.

It’s a good time to be a book lover in the capital, with a brand new children’s library at Qasr Al Hosn and Japanese book store Kinokinuya due to open at The Galleria Al Maryah Island very soon.

The biggest event of them all is perhaps the Hay Festival, which is packed with events and workshops.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the festival.

When and where is it taking place?
The Hay Festival takes place from February 25 to 28 at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

Events, talks, workshops and attractions all take place at different times but the full schedule of happenings is available at www.hayfestival.com.

How much does it cost and how do I get tickets?
Ticket prices vary depending on which events you want to attend but tickets are free for people under the age of 25 or who are in full-time education.

You can purchase tickets online at www.hayfestival.com or at the box office at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

Cash payments will not be accepted for tickets and you will be issued with an e-ticket to access the festival.

What’s happening at the event?
Across the festival there will be 65 speakers taking place in more than 100 programmes.

A series of lectures, film screenings, workshops and talks will be held from a line-up of international authors, intellectuals and influencers.

Musical performances will also take place across the festival.

Being a book festival there will also be a pop-up bookshop from Magrudy’s where you can buy the books of all the participating authors and attend book signings.

Students and teachers can also sign up to a special schools programme that promises a variety of talks, performances and workshops between 9am and 12.15pm from Tuesday February 25 to Thursday February 27.

Which authors are coming?
As you would expect many authors are coming to Abu Dhabi for the event.

Among the big names are Booker prize winners Jokha Alharthi and Bernardine Evaristo, Nobel Prize-winners, Wole Soyinka, Shirin Ebadi and Ahmed Galai, historians William Dalrymple and Shashi Tharoor and poets Qassim Haddad, Tishani Doshi and Yang Lian.

Food writer Hanan Sayed will be sharing her culinary insights while an impressive number of highly-acclaimed regional novelists like Egyptian writer Adhaf Soueif, Pakistani author Fatima Bhutto and Hoda Barakat from Lebanon will also be taking part.

The family programme includes children’s authors Andy Stanton, Onjali Q Rauf, Michelle Paver and Philip Ardagh.

Plus, the youngest ever Emirati author Dana Albooshi, will be introducing audiences to 13 inspirational women from Arabia.
Prices vary. Feb 25-28. Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island www.hayfestival.org/abu-dhabi.

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