Literary News

Emirates Literature Foundation is Hiring for Head of Programming Position.

Emirates Literature Foundation is Hiring for Head of Programming Position.

The Emirates Literature Foundation is seeking a dynamic and strategic Head of Programming who is passionate about literature and driven to make a difference in the literary industry.

Job Title:


Reporting to:

Head of Programming


CEO & Festival Director

Foundation Structure:

The Emirates Literature Foundation was established in 2013 following a Royal decree from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai.

The Emirates Literature Foundation, a non-profit non-governmental organisation, is a distinctive, international showcase celebrating and advocating the written word, literature, and ideas; bringing leading and emerging international, and regionally based authors and thinkers together to inspire each other and their audiences.


The Foundation governs the annually held Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Middle East’s premier literary festival, and several Foundation initiatives such as School Librarian of the Year, Voices of Future Generations, Kateb Maktub, the Emirates Lit Fest Writing Prize, First Chapter as well as year-round educational programmes and book clubs.


A key vision of the festival is to engage non-readers and to improve literacy levels through celebration of the written word in all its forms.


Head of Programming Role

  1. Working closely with Festival Director in curating and delivering an internationally renowned programme of events, which is aligned with the Festival’s strategy and Director’s vision.
  2. The Head of Programming, under the CEO & director’s guidance has the responsibility of programming events of the highest literary and artistic quality that stimulate, fire the imagination, and broaden the horizons of audiences. A programme that is diverse, dynamic, world class, and fresh every year.
  3. As a key member of the Foundation’s Management Team, to lead the programming team by example through a positive and willing attitude in supporting Foundation projects which serve the region’s literary industry and promote a love of reading. The Head of Programming should embody they Foundation’s mission and inspire the team to make a difference through their work.
  4. To manage and take charge of the programming team’s professional development, encouraging them to take on more responsibility and work more effectively each year.

To back up the Foundation’s vision with the drive, communication, and project

management skills needed to deliver events and a literary festival of excellence.


Key Responsibilities

  1. Strategic Planning and Relationship Management
  • As a member of the Management Team, play an active role in the strategic development of the Foundation.
  • Develop and maintain an excellent network of contacts amongst writers, publishers, arts and education professionals.
  • Maintain regular communication and develop a close working relationship between the Programming and Education teams. Create opportunities for joint brainstorming and planning, as well as share resources in the joint delivery and strategic development of various programme initiatives.
  • Work with the Head of Events & Operations to set, track and report on key targets across all projects / events to ensure we deliver well planned events on time and on budget.


  • Work with the Head of Finance and HR on areas of activity for plaining and reporting on core and project funding and support evaluation and feedback documentation to relevant areas of activity throughout the year.
  • Work closely with the Sponsorships Management to understand the programme requirements as laid out in sponsorship agreements and ensure these are delivered during the festival.
  • Play an active role in lobbying at all levels of the public and private sector to highlight the importance and support the vision of the Foundation and the Festival


  1. Programme Development and Delivery
  • Develop a deep and wide-ranging understanding of writing through reading, research, relationships with publishers and authors and engaging with live events and online activity throughout the year.
  • Curate events and festival programmes that inspire, enlighten, and entertain the widest possible range of audiences, featuring authors from around the world. From the most established personalities to the names of the future. Where appropriate, identify and explore wider themes aligned with the programme and overarching vision and collaborate with colleagues and partners to create crossover events and programmes to develop key audiences.
  • Manage all aspects of the sessions including but not limited to content, format, line-up, copywriting, support materials and requirements, correspondence, and promotion online and in print.
  • Enthuse and inspire key staff at regular intervals by communicating relevant highlights, themes, and key elements of the developing programme.


  1. Administration
  • Line manages the Author Relationship officer and supervises all areas of delegated responsibility for programme development and delivery.
  • Make full use of the festival’s systems to maintain up-to-date information on all aspects of the research and programming process and take responsibility for reviewing and checking reports at key points.
  • Review and contribute to information provided to authors, audiences, and staff to ensure effective communication to our participants and guests.


  1. Event & Festival Delivery
  • Welcome and support all visiting authors / talent in the programme.
  • Represent the foundation at key events, receptions, and meetings both on and off site.


Person Specification

The post requires a dynamic and practical individual with a very strong strategic sense and time management skills.  Required skills and experience include:


  • Education to degree level.
  • Involvement in live events.
  • Proven skills in project management, delivery, and administration, with outstanding attention to detail
  • Significant experience of networking, building, and maintaining relationships with a variety of partners
  • High-level strategic thinking ability and planning skills
  • A passionate interest in literature
  • Creative ideas and innovative approaches to developing events in the arts and cultural sector.
  • A proactive and positive approach, combined with stamina and calmness in the face of pressure.
  • A high level of literacy and articulation, with excellent communication skills both verbal and written.
  • Full understanding of and commitment to the aims of the Festival.



For interested applicants, please send your resume and cover letter to hr@elfdubai.org