Along-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. Not satisfied with that achievement, she went on to launch Magrudy’s, one of Dubai’s biggest bookstore chains. Her love of books did not end there; Abulhoul was also the driving force behind 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, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of her years of service to education and British literature in the UAE. Abulhoul was also presented in 2011 with the Cultural Personality Award by HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.