Adventures in Dubai

10 Mar 2015

Steve Cole in the desert in Dubai


Sorry for being so quiet! I’ve been pretty busy writing and travelling all over for events.

I had great fun at the Bishop’s Stortford Festival, at the College du Leman in Geneva, at Nottingham Playhouse theatre for an official World Book Day event, interviewing Anthony Horowitz in front of 800 people at the Southbank Centre – and I just got back from Dubai and the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2015. It’s an incredible festival with amazing guests and a tireless staff making sure everything runs smoothly.

Here I am with book-reading competition winner Aaditya and his sister Aditi at the Festival’s opening ceremony! They were very cool.

Steve and two fans

I did an event at the Universal American School for a few hundred children. Here’s the hall, filling up…

Audience at Universal American School Dubai

They were a fabulous audience and the signing session after was bonkers. I did a festival event too, which was brilliant fun.

Steve at EAFOL15


The funniest moment was when someone asked, ‘How much coffee did you have before this event?!’

It was good to hang out with other  authors and illustrators. John ‘Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face’ Dougherty and David ‘Mr Gum’ Tazzyman were great company, as was that giant amongst men we call Philip ‘The Grunts’ Ardagh. Words are not enough to describe him. Not even with hand signals and an explanatory map.

Jenni Murray, the wonder woman of British broadcasting,  was lovely too!

Guests at the table

It was great to see so much of Dubai too – from the tallest building in the world and the biggest shopping mall, to historic Shindagha and an amazing desert safari. I have never been driven around in a 4×4 up and down desert dunes, plunging off them at crazy angles, seeing nothing on the horizon but sand. Unforgettable.

Steve in Desert

So many  lovely people were there. (I’ve posted lots of pictures on the SteveColeBooks Facebook page if you fancy a look.) Rachel Hamilton, David Mitchell, Michael Morpurgo, Adele Parks, Josh Lacey, Kate Mills, Liz Fenwick, Lemn Sissay, Owen Sheers, Lou and Joe Abercrombie (thanks for taking cool photos, Lou!), Mari and Jasper Fforde, Julia and Malcolm Donaldson… they all added smiles and sunshine.

Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature 2015 line-up

Let’s not forget the organisers and the volunteers! Yvette, Maryann, Avril, Annabelle,  Kathrin, Charlotte – so many more! – and of course, founder of the festival, Isobel Abulhoul OBE (she’s in front in the picture above. Can you spot me and David Tazzyman, trying to look cool in our shades?).

Let’s also not forget Jamilla the camel!

Steve Cole camel ride

It was a truly memorable week in all sorts of ways.

Meantime, I’m already back eventing, in Windsor and Ascot this time. Not *quite* the same, but…

I’m also back interviewing Anthony Horowitz on stage in Cambridge on April 18th. Tickets and info here.

  • Wow – I’d love to go to Dubai! It sounds like you’ve had loads of fun. You’re right, Philip Ardagh is fantastic and his book of Absolutely Useless Lists has proven itself to be very useful in our house!

  • Dear Sir,

    It was great to meet you at the Festival of Literature in Dubai!We love your books a lot! The most recent book we read was The Castle of Frankensaur-It was amazing with the hybrid carnivores and Tarxig! We hope you come back again! Please keep writing we are thirsty for more.Lots of astro-wishes…. Aaditya and Aditi!

    • Hey guys, thanks for writing! It was good to meet you and hope you liked seeing the photo here. I’ll keep writing if you keep reading, OK?! Take care.

      • Dear Sir,

        Yes I was quite excited to see the picture with you in your blog!Thanks a lot for it!I have started reading Earth Attack-find it really interesting!Please do keep in touch and I will keep in touch too!Thank you once again!

  • i think your books are amazing you really inspire me. i would now like to say a great big “THANK YOU” for coming to our school on the 8th of July: Swingate Primary School
    you are an amazing writer and i hope you carry on writing loads of new and interesting books


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