Dubai in Literature: Books Set in the City

Dubai, the futuristic city of skyscrapers and luxury, has also managed to inspire and captivate the imaginations of numerous authors who have chosen it as the backdrop for their literary works. Here are a few books that capture the essence of Dubai:

  1. The Sand Fish by Maha Gargash: Set in Dubai in the 1950s, this novel tells the story of a young girl named Noora who defies societal expectations and seeks to fulfill her dreams. Through Noora’s journey, the book sheds light on the city’s cultural transformation and the challenges faced by its inhabitants.
  2. Gulf by Robert Westall: This novel takes readers back to 1991 when Dubai was still a developing city with a vast desert surrounding it. The story follows the life of Andy, a teenager who moves to Dubai with his family. It explores his experiences navigating a new city while dealing with the complexities of adolescence.
  3. City of Veils by Zoe Ferraris: This crime novel is set in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, but also features Dubai as a prominent location. The book provides a window into the lives of the city’s diverse inhabitants and delves into the cultural tensions and contradictions that exist within the region.
  4. Dubai Tales edited by Muhammad al Murr: This collection of short stories brings together the work of various Emirati authors who explore different aspects of life in Dubai. From tales of love and loss to stories of ambition and dreams, these narratives offer a mosaic of voices reflecting the city’s multi-faceted society.
  5. Love Comes Later by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar: Set against the backdrop of Dubai’s expatriate community, this novel tells the story of Fatima, a young Qatari woman who faces societal pressures and cultural clashes as she tries to find love and fulfillment in a city that is constantly evolving.

These books not only provide a glimpse into the city’s evolving landscape but also offer a deeper understanding of the complex social dynamics and cultural intricacies that shape Dubai. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, delving into these literary works can enhance your appreciation for the city’s past, present, and future.

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