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Dubai International Poetry Festival 2009 to pay homage to founding fathers of Emirati Poetry

WAM Dubai, Feb. 24th, 2009 (WAM)–The Dubai International Poetry Festival 2009, an initiative by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, has announced it will host a commemorative evening in honour of the late Emirati poets Hamad Khalifa BuShihab, Sultan bin Ali Al Owais and Ahmad bin Sulayem, showcasing their rich body of work that laid the foundation of a cultural movement in the UAE during its formative years and thereafter.

Sheikh Hamdan Will Participate at Poetry festival
Sheikh Hamdan Will Participate at Poetry festival

To be held on March 8, at The House of Poetry in Al Shindagha, the event will reiterate the Festival’s objective to portray the diversity of old and contemporary Emirati poetry. It will include critical appreciation and discussions by critics, scholars and the audience, drawing attention to the significant contributions of the three pioneers and the enormous value of their work to humanity as a whole.

The Dubai International Poetry Festival (DIPF) 2009 will be held from March 3-10, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Madinat Jumeirah. It will set the stage for a series of poetry recitals, literary exhibitions, and cultural activities across select venues in Dubai.

Ali Al Shaali, CEO of Dubai International Poetry Festival, said: “Organizing an evening exclusively for renowned Emirati poets who are no longer with us is a reflection of our profound loyalty towards those who have creatively excelled and motivated future generations to be led by the rhythm of their verses.” He added that “apart from reciting the poems of our stalwarts in poetry, experts will also draw attention to their life and cultural biographies. The most important of those works – which are interspersed with traditional perspectives in cultural, political and social narrations – will be reviewed as a tribute highlighting the link between the modern and the older generations.” For many scholars and critics in the field of literature, Hamad Khalifa BuShihab and Ahmad Bin Salayem are considered the spiritual and founding fathers of Emirati folk poetry, while Sultan bin Ali Al Owais is regarded an icon in the UAE’s cultural history with a prestigious award instituted in his name.
Al Shaali added: “The sort of content typically found in the archetypal Emirati poem will live on as long as it is captured by local poets in the conventional vertical poetry writing form in either the �Nabti’ or the classical �fus-ha’ style that are both considered free flowing.” He added that “The poetry scene in the UAE, as with the rest of the world, is multi-tiered that aim to unleash innovation and free flow of thought without being subject to sectarian conflicts between the patterns of poetry writing, which is what happens in other societies. It never ceases to amaze that some even engage in art related civil wars to fight for territory in the creative arena to prove their stature.” Dubai International Poetry Festival 2009 will see a galaxy of poets and litterateurs converging in Dubai from all over the world. Adding to the offerings of the event will be ‘Souk Ukadh’ that will seek to recreate the halcyon days of Arab creative expression. A number of shopping malls in Dubai including the Dubai Mall and the Dubai Festival City will concurrently host special evenings, critical discussions, workshops and theatrical performances to raise the holistic profile of poetry during the Festival.

Schedule of Dubai International Poetry festival

Opening Ceremony 4 March 2009
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Dubai World Trade Centre

Poetry Readings 4 – 10 March 2009
6:00 – 8:00 pm
8:30 – 10:00 pm Madinat Jumeriah Theatre

Special Evenings 4 – 10 March 2009
7:30 – 9:30 pm House of Poetry

Critical Discussions of Poetry 4 – 10 March 2009
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Madinat Jumeriah

Poetry Readings 4 – 10 March 2009
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Various universities in the UAE

House of Poetry Activities 4 – 10 March 2009
6:00 – 10:00 pm House of Poetry, Dubai

Community Clubs Activities 4 – 10 March 2009
6:00 – 10:00 pm Community Clubs in Dubai


  1. Dears,
    I’m Ljubomir Mihajlovski – Ambasador of Poetas del Mundo in Macedonia.I and my secretary Ljupce Zahraiev have intention for visit your poetry festival and start colaboration in poetry field beetween our two coultures.
    Please give to us more informations about festival.
    With respect,


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