Company: Emirates Airline Festival of Literature; Emirates Literature Foundation
Designation: Director, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature; CEO, Emirates Literature Foundation
Country of residence: United Kingdom
A long-term resident of Dubai, Isobel Abulhoul began her career in the emirate as a primary school teacher, before founding Al Ittihad School with her husband. She later went on to launch Magrudy’s, one of Dubai’s biggest bookstore chains. Her love of books did not end there; Abulhoul used her deep knowledge of literature and her passion for promoting literacy to set up the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature — now the biggest event of its type in the region.
Abulhoul, who is also founder of Jerboa book publishers, has been awarded an OBE in her home country in recognition of her years of service to education and British literature in the UAE. And in 2011 she was presented with the Cultural Personality Award by Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.