Competition for children and adults to reward style, substance and creativity

 Dubai, September 20 2020:  The fine art of letter writing is to be celebrated by the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Montegrappa, Italy’s oldest manufacturer of hand-crafted writing instruments, in a brand new competition that is elevating penmanship to its rightful place as a treasured art form.

 Split into three age groups, the competition is open to residents of the UAE with each winner receiving a distinctive Montegrappa pen.

 “The events of 2020 have resulted in an acceleration in the use of technology, with many schools and offices choosing to do more digitally,” said Ahlam Bolooki, festival director.  “With the ubiquity of text messages, emails and social media, this may feel like the moment we say goodbye to handwriting, as we are in danger of losing this skill. The new Montegrappa Letter Writing Competition brings some of that forgotten magic back into our world.”


A recent survey* found that a quarter of people had not sent or received a handwritten letter in a decade and that two-thirds of 25-35-year-olds hardly ever picked up a pen. The practice has not disappeared totally in the literary world, however. Some writers still favour pen and ink, including Martin Amis and JK Rowling, who continue to produce handwritten manuscripts.


“A handwritten letter is so much more personal than a typed message,” said Charles Nahhas, the Middle East distributor of Montegrappa. “There is an intimacy in a handwritten letter providing an insight into the mind of its author and a more genuine connection.  The art, creative flair and skill in making letters appear on a page, the pen, ink and paper chosen, the words and sentiment, all combine to offer a flavour of the sender’s personality and it reveals the significant effort and thought that the sender has put into it. Few things will make someone feel as cherished as receiving a thoughtful and beautifully handwritten letter.” 


The competition, open to adults and children, celebrates both the aesthetic of handwriting and well-crafted messages. It is divided into three age categories:

Primary: Ages 9 - 13

Secondary: Ages 14 – 18

Adult: Ages 18+


Letters should be written on a single A4 side of paper, be no more than 200 words long and handwritten using a fountain pen or any other type of ink pen, such as a rollerball or ball point pen. Entries can be in Arabic or English.


Primary and secondary pupils should write a letter in their best hand writing to one of their favourite characters from a book. The deadline for these two age groups is 8 November 2020.


Adults should write a letter to an author telling them how they would change a story in one of their books or to a character from a book that has changed their own personal story. This ties with the theme chosen for this year’s 2021 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Change the Story. The deadline for entry to the adult category is 3 January 2021.


Winners in all categories will be informed of their success via email in February 2021, and will be publicly announced and awarded at the prize-giving ceremony held in March 2021.


The winners of the primary and secondary categories each receive a Montegrappa fountain pen from the Ambiente collection which is made with a special resin created from recycled materials, in collaboration with artisanal studio Smile Plastics.


The winner of the adult category receives the chance to create their own Montegrappa pen from the Zero Custom collection, using Montegrappa’s online configurator which makes it possible to completely customise every element of the pen and to create a unique and completely personalised model. 


Runners up in all categories will receive a limited edition Montegrappa LitFest 2021 pen, which is an exclusive design also gifted to all authors participating in the festival in person.


Montegrappa was previously the sponsor of the Montegrappa Writing Prize, a creative writing competition by the Emirates Literature Foundation which has resulted in nine undiscovered authors finding a publishing deal. This competition will continue under a new banner in 2021.   


For tips on letter writing, terms and conditions and to enter the competition, click here

More information about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature can be found online. Fans can keep up to date with #EmiratesLitFest  action on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

and year-round news of #ELFDubai on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.





For more information, please contact:

Krishina Gandhi

Tel: +971 55 846 2303

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Gerard Saliba

Tel: +971 58 821 8970

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Notes to editors:


*The Times/Cunard Letter Writing Survey 2018


About the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature:

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is the Arab World’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, featuring international and regional writers, poets, thinkers and speakers from around the world. Over the last 12 years more than 1,500 authors from over one hundred countries have spoken at the Festival.  In 2020 the Festival attracted an audience of more than 43,000, reaching a further 99,000 via live streaming. Sessions included explorer Ranulph Fiennes and mountaineer Chris Bonington, award-winning novelists Tayari Jones, Jokha Alharthi, Hoda Barakat,  Omaima Alkhamis, Mohammed Hanif and Esi Edugyan.  Other big names included Markus Zusack, Graeme Simsion, Santa Montefiore, Jo Nesbø, Linwood Barclay, Fatima Bhutto, visual artist and children’s book illustrator Oliver Jeffers and from the UAE space programme, Hazzaa AlMansouri.  The BOSH!  Vegan supper and Murder Mystery Dinner featuring Killing Eve creator Luke Jennings both sold out, as did a special pre-festival event with naturalist Jane Goodall, and a closing event celebrating the extraordinary story of refugee Nujeen Mustafa, who took part in the evening, with all proceeds going to Dubai Cares.

The aim of the Festival is to develop a culture of reading as an enjoyable habit in the UAE, and its efforts have been recognised through many awards over the years. By providing an equal platform for international and locally based talents, the Festival continues to build the literary landscape in the UAE and further afield. Alongside the main programme, the Festival organises an Education programme, which positively impacted on more than 30,000 students across the UAE in 2020. The programme includes education days, student sessions and author school visits where young people meet and interact with their favourite authors, plus student competitions, held in Arabic and English, which allow young people to showcase their skills through poetry, short stories and reading.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Festival is a key part of the Emirates Literature Foundation, which was established in 2013 by Royal Decree. In partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, arts, and culture, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will be back from 4-6 February 2021. For information and updates about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature visit the website:


About the Emirates Literature Foundation:

The Emirates Literature Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which supports and nurtures a love of literature in the United Arab Emirates and the region, through a programme of varied cultural initiatives.

Established in 2013 by Royal Decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Foundation aims to foster a love for literature, with a focus on the Arabic language.

In line with the National Reading Policy of the UAE, the Foundation has implemented several long-term projects including the School Librarian of the Year Award and the annual Arabic Language Week, as well as conducting year-round student education programmes, book clubs and creative writing courses. The Foundation’s previous initiatives included the 2016 Dubai Translation Conference and the 2017 Dubai International Publishing Conference, which hosted a number of international participants.

The Foundation is also the governing body of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the UAE’s premier literary festival, which will be held 2– 6 February, 2021.

Emirates Literature Foundation

Our Strong Network getting STRONGER: Al Muzaini, a renowned financial solutions provider and the leading exchange house in Kuwait, has opened its 108th branch in Abbasiya, Block-5, Street-60.

Inaugurated by Hugh Fernandez, General Manger of Al Muzaini, along with senior officials, the new branch offers customers a broad range of financial services like instant bank transfers, instant money transfers, foreign currency exchange & Corporate/Trade transfers, all days of the week.

Hugh Fernandez, General Manager of Al Muzaini Exchange said: “It is our vision to make financial services accessible to all. The opening of the new branch is in that direction and will help us to bring our network closer to our customers providing convenience to the local and expatriate communities, and consequently contribute to the country's economy.

We are grateful to our well-wishers for their continued support to fulfil customer’s aspirations by providing them with cutting-edge financial products and services through most sophisticated technology.

Following the reopening of its restaurants in May, Mandarin Oriental, Milan has announced that it fully reopened and is looking forward to welcoming  guests.


Housed in four elegant 18th-century buildings in the heart of Milan and steps away from the fashion district and the artistic neighbourhood of Brera, the hotel is reopening all the favourite facilities much loved by guests.


There’s so much to look forward to. From the sublime and holistic Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Milan to the favourite Mandarin Bar & Bistrot and the refined two-Michelin-starred Seta recently awarded the Best of Award of Excellence 2020 for its wine list from the prestigious American magazine Wine Spectator.


The hotel has designed a special welcome back Staycation by M.O.  package for guests to enjoy this charming city. The stay includes daily breakfast for two in Mandarin Bar & Bistrot, early check-in, late check-out, a bottle of sparkling wine and a hotel credit per booking of EUR100 per room or EUR200 per suite.


The hotel has put in place Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s We Care programme of health and safety practices and precautionary measures to uphold its commitment towards the comfort, safety and health of its guests and colleagues.


“My team and I are truly delighted to welcome back our Italian and international guests. Milan has something to entice everyone, from art, culture and gastronomy to fashion, design and much more”, says Luca Finardi, General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Milan and Area Vice President Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.


About Mandarin Oriental, Milan

Mandarin Oriental, Milan is housed in the re-development of four elegant 18th Century buildings ideally located in via Andegari, in the fashionable heart of the city. The hotel offers a charming mix of style and luxury, with 70 elegant rooms and 34 spacious suites. Guests can discover exquisite dining in the beautiful setting of Italian fine dining restaurant, Seta run by acclaimed chef Antonio Guida and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the Mandarin Bar. Both venues have access to two beautiful outdoor courtyards, offering al fresco dining options. The 900 square-metre Spa features six treatment rooms, and there is a world class hair salon, a manicure and pedicure studio, a fitness centre and an indoor swimming pool.

About Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, resorts and residences. Having grown from its Asian roots into a global brand, the Group now operates 33 hotels and six residences in 23 countries and territories, with each property reflecting the Group’s oriental heritage and unique sense of place. Mandarin Oriental has a strong pipeline of hotels and residences under development and is a member of the Jardine Matheson Group.


Photography of Mandarin Oriental is available to download in the Photo Library of our Media section, at  Further information is also available on our Social Media channels.


For Middle East inquiries, please contact:


Tarek Abou Hichme - Senior Account Manager, AllDetails

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +971 (0)50 740 9401





Abu Dhabi, UAE, 16 September 2020: INFINITI Middle East continued its ongoing commitment to supporting road safety through its ‘Eyes On You’ initiative by donating infant car seats to parents of new-borns in Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women & Children in Abu Dhabi with the support of its Abu Dhabi distributor Al Masaood Automobiles.

Using a portion of proceeds from its successful Ramadan car auction, which saw the sale of multiple QX80 SUV’s entirely online, the infant car seats have been distributed to new parent’s across select hospitals in the UAE.

“We are proud at INFINITI are able to continue the distribution of children’s car seats to new parents at Danat Al Emarat Hospital in Abu Dhabi,” said Karsten Jankowski, General Manager Marketing, PR & Customer Experience, INFINITI International markets. “We will continue to promote road safety as a priority to ensure children are safe on the road.”

Developed as part of INFINITI’s long-running ‘Eyes On You’ road safety initiative, the brand aims to educate parents and empower children to be safe on the road. Promoting the use of infant car seats is a key part of the cause to ensure children are seated safely in vehicles, after a regional survey from the brand revealed that 1 in 3 parents were unclear of the legal age requirement for car seat usage.


“INFINITI Middle East’s ‘Eyes On You’ is a highly significant initiative and as Al Masaoood Automobiles has been INFINITI’s partner in Abu Dhabi for over 15 years, we are happy to be a part of this noble CSR programme,” said Wassim El Derbi, Head of Marketing, Al Masaood Automobiles. “Ensuring the safety of our customers and their families in Abu Dhabi remains one of the key priorities for our company, thus we reaffirm our commitment and full support of the success of Eyes On You.”

Eman Al Shorafa, Chief Operating Officer at Danat Al Emarat Hospital stressed on the importance of such initiatives throughout the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE saying, “Partnering with INFINITI Middle East and Al Masaood Automobiles comes in line with our continuous efforts in promoting awareness amongst our patients and the population of UAE on child safety. This also comes in line with our objectives in caring for our new-borns and helping them remain safe on the roads.” Al Shorafa added, “As a specialized women’s and children’s hospital, we have an immense responsibility towards parents and children, both as our patients and as part of the community.”

‘Eyes On You’ is closely aligned with the Dubai traffic safety strategy to reduce road fatalities by 1.5 for 100,000 population by 2021.

For more information on INFINITI Middle East



Collaboration will advance the quality of healthcare in the Middle East, Russia, Turkey and Africa through the deployment of cutting-edge technologies and next generation end-to-end connected solutions

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, September 16, 2020 – Honeywell (NYSE: HON) has today announced it is to collaborate with master healthcare transformation partner Influence Healthcare International (IHI), a full-service healthcare solutions, management, advisory and consulting company. The agreement enables both companies to explore new opportunities to further digital transformation of the Middle East, Russia, Turkey and Africa’s (MERTA) healthcare sector, by providing high-quality healthcare solutions and supporting healthcare sector participants whilst reducing costs, optimizing hospital operations, and enhancing the overall patient experience.

The collaboration will combine Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions’ (SPS) global expertise in automation, mobile communication, productivity products and solutions, and cloud-enabled predictive analytics with IHI’s industry-leading healthcare transformation capabilities to create ultra-safe healthcare solutions.


Under the collaboration, IHI will be able to leverage Honeywell’s technology expertise for healthcare environments, including nurse call systems, RFID solutions, remote patient monitoring and mobile barcode scanners among others. IHI will provide its advisory services, operation transformation solutions and training, coaching and leadership consultancy.


The combination of Honeywell’s cutting-edge technologies, IHI’s application of the Japanese Toyota Production System (TPS) – also the foundation for Honeywell’s Honeywell Operating System (HOS) –  and the companies’ deep sector expertise, enables them to design and implement ultra-safe, cost-effective and tailored hospital transformation solutions and next generation integrated care communication platforms for the healthcare industry.


“We are committed to connecting people, assets and processes to allow customers in the healthcare sector to make timely informed decisions based on real-time data, improving their performance and patient experience,” said Miroslav Kafedzhiev, vice president and general manager for Honeywell SPS, High-Growth Regions. “Our collaboration with IHI offers unparalleled domain expertise in healthcare technology, and acts as an enabler for the next generation of patient care solutions in the MERTA region. Through our work, we can create an ultra-safe, robust and flexible system of operations and management, based on the continuous success of better, faster, safer and lower cost systems.


Dr. Mohammad Shanti, Chairman and CEO at IHI added, “At IHI we understand the complex, challenging, and highly regulated world of healthcare. Our healthcare systems and transformation capabilities, together with Honeywell’s products and solutions, will advance the adoption of digitalization in the healthcare sector, while significantly increasing the throughput as well as quality of products and services. We look forward to bringing the industry even greater heights together.”


With the healthcare industry already in change, further accelerated by the global coronavirus pandemic, healthcare stakeholders in the Middle East understand the need to fast-track digital transformations to deliver optimal care, while remaining competitive. The Honeywell-IHI collaboration is the first-of-its-kind in the MERTA region, providing a mix of insight, knowledge transfer, expertise and talent to deliver long-term successful transformation of healthcare providers.

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 7 September 2020: Abu Dhabi Airports Duty Free, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Airports, has launched a new home delivery service, allowing residents across the UAE to buy Abu Dhabi Duty Free products from the comfort of their homes.

Now, residents can browse and choose from an expansive selection of items from leading international brands and have them delivered straight to their door. The new service comes as a results of Abu Dhabi Duty Free’s desire to cater to those remaining at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Shareef Al Hashmi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “We are delighted to launch Abu Dhabi Duty Free home delivery service, enabling residents of the UAE to take advantage of a growing selection of our most popular items we have to offer at Abu Dhabi Duty Free without having to leave their homes.”

“This new program forms a part of our commitment to our customers to ensure they can enjoy our great range of products while staying safe. We have made the online ordering process incredibly easy and will continue find ways to make our products and services as attractive and rewarding as possible,” added Al Hashmi.

How It Works

The Abu Dhabi Duty Free website ( allows residents to easily register for an account, shop for duty free items, pay for them online through a secure gateway, and then have them delivered anywhere within the UAE.

Customers also have the option to create ‘Wish Lists’ of products to be purchased at a later date. All purchases will be delivered by Aramex as per every customer’s delivery preferences. Abu Dhabi Duty Free’s customer support team is available during business hours to assist and answer any queries.

Almost a month since the cataclysmic explosion rocked Beirut on August 4, Lebanon is in urgent need of aid and support to come together To do so, To stand in solidary with the country, Radisson Hotel Group has teamed up with SOS Children's Villages International in Lebanon and the Lebanese Red Cross.


The blast, which levelled huge swaths of Beirut and displaced hundreds of thousands of people, couldn't have come at a worse time. Lebanon, a country that has endured decades of violence, including conflicts, terrorist attacks, and its own civil war, was already struggling to contain multiple crises. In the past year, a breakdown in the country's banking system and skyrocketing inflation triggered mass protests. Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the World Bank projected countless people in Lebanon would fall below the poverty line in 2020.

Today, because of the port explosion, thousands of people have been left homeless and hungry. 


Radisson Hotel Group, currently operating two hotels within Beirut, has teamed up with two charity groups, SOS Children's Villages International in Lebanon to protect the children’s well-being and the Lebanese Red Cross to provide essential humanitarian support on the ground. Together they have formed a collaboration with the group’s rewards program, allowing people to donate and support their initiatives.


Whilst Radisson Rewards is a global rewards program that was created to deliver unique and personalized moments, while offering exceptional loyalty benefits to their guests, today Radisson Rewards has become a way of supporting the communities in Lebanon. Radisson Hotel Group has called upon their members to assist the relief and recovery efforts by donating their Radisson Rewards points or cash. All points which are donated by their members will be converted into cash and sent directly to the charities. With more than 1,400 hotels in operation and under development around the world, Radisson Hotel Group has more than 22 million Radisson Rewards Members and has made it their mission to make a difference.


The Lebanese Red Cross (LRC), established in1995, is the number one provider of first aid and medical ambulance services in the country. Today, there are almost 2600 volunteers spread over 42 first aid centers and three operation rooms across the country. The Lebanese Red Cross has proved itself to be worthy of the nation’s trust, as well as a trusted entity for citizens abroad. When the disastrous blast hit Beirut’s port on August 4th, the LRC teams were immediately on the ground, responding to humanitarian needs and trying to save lives. With its mission to promote peace and alleviate human pain without discrimination to nationality, political affiliation, or social class, the Lebanese Red Cross is often referred to as the superhero figure, especially now.

SOS Children's Villages has been working in Lebanon since the mid-1960s, supporting children, young people and families. In the past decades, they have continued to provide assistance during the series of violent conflicts which have affected the country. Radisson Hotel Group formed a global partnership with SOS Children’s Villages in 2018 and has been well known for supporting their work and establishing meaningful local relationships worldwide. The partnership focuses on the shared theme of hospitality, aiming to provide food, shelter and better futures.


Tim Cordon, Area Senior Vice President Middle East & Africa, Radisson Hotel Group, said: “At this moment, it is important that the world stands together with Lebanon and provides the humanitarian support that its people urgently require to stand on their feet again. Lebanon was already in the midst of multiple crises, from economic and public health amid the pandemic to political. The blast has compounded the hardship, and many will need various forms of assistance to cope with it all. We would like to encourage our members and guests to assist the relief and recovery efforts and support our initiatives by donating their points so we can continue to support the Lebanese Red Cross and SOS Children's Villages in Lebanon.”


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