6 local authors you need to know

Draw inspiration from these hand-picked Emirati authors who have marked the literary world with their amazing work for both adults and children

words: Nikita Garg


From Rags to Riches: A story of Abu Dhabi by Mohammed Al Fahim

Hay festival Abu Dhabi













What better than to read about the city you live in! Mohammed Al Fahim in his book, From Rags to Riches: A story of Abu Dhabi, narrates the story of the metamorphosis of Abu Dhabi from the 1950s to the 1990s as it transformed rapidly into one of the richest places in the world. First published in 1995, the book gives readers an honest glimpse of the past from the writer’s very own perspective and recollections. This book has now been translated into multiple languages.


Letters to a Young Muslim by Omar Saif Ghobash

Omar Saif Ghobash was the former Ambassador of the UAE to Russia. His book Letters to a Young Muslim is a collection of personal letters to his sons whereby he offers insightful and crucial guidance on how to charter the complex terrain of dilemmas in today’s world. The book is filled with first-hand experiences written with the hope of providing unbiased advice to Muslims around the globe and is an exploration of what it means to be a good Muslim in the 21st century.


The Sand Fish: A Novel from Dubai  by Maha Gragash 

The Sand Fish is a powerful, stirring, poignant story of a vivacious and rebellious young woman from Oman trapped in a repressive society. The novel is set in the 1950s and offers readers an enthralling glimpse into a completely different world – a world which was nothing like today. An important read in today’s era where society has been transformed drastically.


The Tales of Hamad by Ahmed Al Shoaibi

Hay festival Abu Dhabi

The Tales of Hamad by Ahmed Al Shoaibi is an illustrative children’s book about a young Emirati boy Hamad and his journey to self-discovery. The book is an adventurous read and deals with a gamut of age appropriate topics like National Day, religious festivals, bullying and so on. The author has managed to bring out the flavour of Emirati identity, culture and heritage beautifully. The book pays tribute to the country in the wake of the UAE soldiers who lost their lives in Yemen.


13 Amazing Women of Arabia by Dana Al Balooshi

This debut book by Dana Al Balooshi, who is the youngest Emirati to train with NASA, pays tribute to 13 women from diverse field of science, government, fashion, business, sports and so on – a must-read for all aspiring children. The author’s laurels bring pride to the country and her book brings inspiration to many.


“My Own Special Way” by Maitha Al Khayat

Hay Festival Abu Dhabi

Speaking of children’s books, don’t miss the wonderful books authored by Maitha Al Khayat. As an illustrator and an author to more than 170 books, Maitha dreams to endorse a book-loving generation and inspire them to achieve their dreams through interactive activities. My Own Special Way is one of her award-winning book that not only engages with early readers, but helps build cultural literacy at a very young age.


Hay Festival runs from 25th-28th February, Manarat al Saadiyat alongside other venues across the capital. For more information, timings and ticket prices (Free for those under 25 years old and/or in full time education), visit hayfestival.com

Posted in Culture, Editor's Picks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By joining our mailing list you agree to our Terms & Use and Privacy Policy

Get the best of Abu Dhadi straight to your inbox

Find out more about our privacy policy here.