Isobel Abulhoul


Secretary General

Isobel Abulhoul has lived in Dubai since 1968 and co-founded Magrudy’s, a bookshop chain, in 1975 which is still thriving and has eight bookshops across the UAE.

In 2008 Isobel founded the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word. In 2013, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and also the Festival’s patron, issued a Decree establishing the Emirates Literature Foundation, naming Isobel as one of the trustees on the Board and holds the position of CEO. She is also a Trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction Board, Secretary General of the Kalimat Foundation and a director of the Board for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library. In addition, Isobel has been elected to the Supreme National Committee for Tolerance and has been selected as a member of the Police Advisory Council for Community Service.

Isobel has received several awards and accolades over the years such as Cultural Personality of the Year by Dr. HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah in 2010, and the prestigious OBE award by HM Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 2012.

Isobel’s passion and drive for culture, education and literature remains as strong as ever.

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