Fresh Voices: 5 UAE-Based Female Authors To Read Now

These are the debut novels you need to add to your reading list.

Roudha Al Marri

As well as brimming with sessions to engage, entertain and inform on a range of topics, this year’s Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, taking place March 1-9, introduces new voices you’re likely to be hearing about for a long time.

While the Arab world’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, which is happening at Dubai Festival City’s InterContinental Hotel in partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, features international writers, poets, thinkers and speakers, it has always been keen to provide a platform for home-grown talent.

Sara Sadik's book signing

And this year the festival that also organises interesting workshops is hailing some exceptional female writers who have published their first books.  Whether they’re from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or love and have been living in the region for a long time, their debuts offer fresh perspectives and are well worth your time.

1. Hanan Sayed Worrell

"Table Tales: The Global Nomad Cuisine of Abu Dhabi"

In her first cookbook, “Table Tales: The Global Nomad Cuisine of Abu Dhabi,” Hanan Sayed Worrell shows how expatriates from around the world and locals embracing their own cuisine have created a vibrant urban food culture.

Hanan Sayed Worrell

She shares recipes from all nationalities, takes readers into the homes of people living in Abu Dhabi and looks at the street scene of the UAE’s capital, where she has been living for 25 years.

2. Roudha Al Marri

"UAE 101 - Stories and Cultural Learnings"

As well as being a travel fanatic, Roudha Al Marri loves anything holistic. In her first book, “UAE 101 - Stories and Cultural Learnings,” the Dubai born and raised author places the UAE centre stage. She co-authored the barrier-breaking book with Italian Illaria Caielli and takes readers on a tour of the multi-cultural nation that people from all walks of life call home.

3. Dana Al Balooshi

Dana Al Balooshi

Dana Al Balooshi is the youngest Emirati to train with NASA. To add to her accomplishments, the 12-year-old recently published her debut book, “13 Amazing Women of Arabia.”

"13 Amazing Women of Arabia"

In the book, she pays tribute to 13 inspiring women from diverse fields, including fashion, sports, business and politics.

4. Sara Sadik

"Finding the Magic in Mommyhood"

Help is at hand for stressed mums from Sara Sadik, the Dubai-based Palestinian/Lebanese mother of three and creator of

Sara Sadik

In her first book, “Finding the Magic in Mommyhood,” she dispenses advice and is on a mission to make readers see the lighter side of the unpredictable and chaotic journey through motherhood in her distinct, warm, candid and humorous way.

5. Aditi Belame Kumar

Aditi Belame Kumar

Author Aditi Belame Kumar’s first novel, “Ḥumr An-Naʿam, Treasure of the Desert,” shows how camels have finally been restored to their position at the heart of the United Arab Emirates’ ethnographic and historical identity.

"Ḥumr An-Naʿam, Treasure of the Desert"

The Indian, who migrated to the UAE when she was three, explores the growth of the camel industry, particularly camel racing, and traces the role the treasures of the desert have played in the history of the UAE and the special bond they have with Arab civilisation.

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