If you are an avid book reader, you must have found yourself scanning the shelves of your go-to bookstore trying to find literature generated by authors from the region, about the region, by the region. Let’s make that work easier for you and help you with a list of UAE authors writing on a variety of subjects for you to read! Diverse genres, spectacular settings, and wide age groups unite!


At the beginning of this list, we have the fiction books because who doesn’t like to escape into different lives and stories? Fiction does wonders in revealing truth through metaphors and makes the world a better place for it!

12. Anti-Romantic by Samama Reza

Anti-Romantic is a sunny romantic-comedy novel taking place in Dubai. The author Samama Reza grew up reading western-centric novels and was inspired to write her debut after feeling the need to see POC characters and different settings represented in books. The 24-year-old Bangladeshi writer says that UAE authors are appreciated more than anywhere else in the world and advises other writers to “write like you want to leave a mark in the universe.”

11. The Secret Life of Dubai’s Street Cats by Bashayer Arif

Emirati author Bashayer Arif was inspired to write her book The Secret Life of Dubai’s Street Cats after she rescued an injured stray cat. Bashayer started the book in 2016 and completed it in 2019. The journey of finding a home for the injured little Arabian Mau led her to learn a lot about the breed which predominantly roams the street of Dubai, “I had no idea that these cats are native to our land. It was a real eye-opener and I felt compelled to tell a story about their world,” Bashayer says.

10. The Frustrated Women’s Club by Amandeep Ahuja

Indian author Amandeep Ahuja’s book started off as a series of blog posts which then eventually turned into her renowned debut. The book was birthed from the dilemma of the Asian expectation of getting married young. It is set in Dubai and is a love letter to the Indian millennial. Her advice to writers is, “Everyone has a story in them… If you can think something, you can write it… put your pen to paper and watch the magic unfold.”

9. Rose’s Diary by Reem Al Kamali (Translated by Dr. Chip Rosetti)

Emirati author Reem Al Kamali’s novel takes place in Dubai’s historic neighbourhood of Shindagha in the 1960s, prior to the formation of the nation. The story is about a girl who longs to travel to Damascus to study Arabic literature after the demise of her mother. When her uncle refuses her request, Rose writes out her anger in secret diaries and throws it into a river so that no one can read what she has written. A much-awaited translation of the Arabic novel was undertaken by Dr. Chip Rosetti, Editorial Director of the Library of Arabic Literature at NYU Press, and was released in the UAE this month.

8. The End of Summer by Salha Al Busaidy

Omani author, Salha Al Busaidy, wrote her novel after the death of her beloved nephew. After his demise, Salha wondered if his soul was still with them, making them laugh as he always did; wondered if he was afraid. “I wrote the book from the perspective of a young woman’s soul and her emotions and memories, as her body is being prepared for burial.” The book is set in Oman and took Salha only a few months to write, “I feel it’s the story I was meant to tell, because I had no control over how it just flowed out of me.”

7. The Chronicles of Will Ryde & Awa Maryam Al-Jameel by Rehan Khan

Rehan Khan is a Dubai-based British author who was inspired to write his historical fiction trilogy after visiting the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul with his family, and seeing the religious artifacts on display at the palace museum. In the book, the staff of Moses has been stolen from the court of Sultan Murad III and an elite band of warriors including Awa and Will are tasked to bring the staff back home to the Sultan. Think Mission Impossible set in Ottoman Istanbul, canal-filled Venice, and rainy England!


Truth is stranger than fiction so we need to pick up non-fiction books to educate ourselves and learn compassion through the stories of others.

6. Dubai Is My Home by Olivia Froudkine and Marie Jeanne Acquaviva

Olivia Froudkine’s and Marie Jeanne Acquaviva’s joint venture of Dubai Is My Home came about because they wanted to debunk preconceived western myths about Dubai. They wanted to show the “true heart and soul of the city” and portray the “normal people who make the city so nice to live in”. The massive volume took two years to complete and gives an intimate account of what it means to live in the city. It includes carefully curated photos and interviews that capture “the feels, emotions, diversity and humanity that make the city so special”.

5. Meher & Me by Farah Flisher

Meher & Me is a mother-daughter relationship memoir by British-Indian author Farah Flisher. The book was inspired by Farah’s mother and the tragic violent incident that led to her demise in India. The book is a love letter to her mother. Think Gilmore Girls but with more depth, unconventional choices, courage, hope, and faith. On the topic of the writing community of the UAE, Farah says, “The community of writers and the publishing sector in UAE is expanding and there are many new opportunities for aspiring writers to find the perfect support for their creation.”

4. Discovering the United Arab Emirates by Francesca Affleck

Francesca Affleck calls Dubai her home after having lived in India, Hong Kong, England, Pakistan and Oman. Experienced with a variety of cultures, she was inspired to write her book after seeing the rapid transformation of the UAE in such a short time. Her book specializes in making the reader understand the UAE’s history and culture illustrated with never before seen photos of people and places.

3. Everyday Life In The Spectacular City: Making Home in Dubai by Rana AlMutawa

Assistant professor at NYUAD, Rana AlMutawa’s academic book is an urban ethnography about how Dubai residents interact with the rapidly growing city’s spaces to create meaningful social relationships. The Emirati academic looks at Dubai in a global context in her work to highlight the city’s and its residents’ proficient capability of belonging.

Younger Readers

Books for your babies by UAE authors must be especially cherished as your young ones grow in a diverse, ever-changing society full of limitless progress and new ideas.

2. A Dragon Called Blue by Ebtisam Al-Beiti

Kenyan-Emirati author, Ebtisam Al-Beiti wrote A Dragon Called Blue to educate toddlers about coping with change, especially the arrival of a new sibling. The colourful book teaches children how to handle different emotions such as sadness, fear, and anger through the eye of a blue dragon, called ‘Blue’. The author took 5 to 6 months to draft the book followed by a lot of crumpled papers in the bin, “I wanted to be published here as the UAE is my home, and want to make a difference to children everywhere starting from home,” says Ebtisam.

1. Barki and The Forest Fire by Toyin Akanni

British-Nigerian author, Toyin Akanni, oftens reads to her children before bed and this inspired her to write a book of her own. Toyin has a Masters in environmental science and incorporates the complicated topics of environmental concerns and sustainability in her stories for children. The first book of the Barki series took a year to complete, “There is a big misconception that picture books are easy to write. That is entirely false. A good picture book is hard work; each word must be crafted beautifully to fit the story.”

Books, books, books!

Of course, there are many other books by UAE authors that are not present in this list. Make sure to go find some more and pick up a book by a UAE author next. Happyyy Readinggg!

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