The UAE's poetry scene is as diverse and multicultural as the country’s population.
Almost a decade old, the country’s open mic and slam poetry scene has thrived thanks to the many active voices that have made it what it is today.
Alserkal Avenue's LiteraturHaus, where poets and other figures of literature are invited to speak, is also another.
Take a look at emerging and established poets that are redefining the UAE's cultural landscape.
1. Farah Chamma
Farah Chamma is a Palestinian poet who has been performing spoken word poetry since she was a teenager. Most of her works focus on the identity of Palestinian youth in the region.
While she mainly recites in Arabic spoken word, she can also perform in English as well as other languages.
Her talent has taken her to more than 10 countries.
2. Afra Atiq
Afra Atiq is one of the first Emirati female spoken word artists and slam poets. Having won a couple of awards, she's performed in the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, and the USA.
Atiq's poetry addresses contemporary Emirati identity and her inner conflict growing up to an Emirati father and a Japanese-American mother.
3. Mina Liccione
Most of us here in Dubai know American Mina Liccione from her popular drama and stand-up comedy workshops, Dubomedy - which she has been managing along with her Emirati husband, Ali Al Sayed, since 2008.
What many of don’t know is that Liccione is also a poet. As shown in this video, her performances mix poetry with drama and acting.
4. Salem Al-Attas
5. Sarah Murad
She didn’t give up when she was told at school that literature is not a “degree worth having” and fought to pursue her dream.
She is now an active participant in the UAE’s open mic and spoken word poetry events.
Murad has also been shortlisted for her 'The Reason I Pray' poem by By Me Poetry website.
6. Malavika Suresh
Malavika Suresh is an 18-year-old spoken word artist of Indian descent. She has been writing for two years and performing for 1.
Inspired by lyrics and other spoken word artists, she hopes to articulate people’s emotions and break the silence on topics that aren't often discussed.
7. Ehrlich Ross
Coming from the Philippines, Ehrlich Ross is a nurse who likes to write poetry in his spare time. What he likes most about it is that it enables him to tell stories, navigate emotions, and discover new ones.
His poems tell stories and lessons he has learned in his life. He started performing last year and has become a regular at open mic events around town.
Since then he has won an award and performed at important events like Dubai Culture’s Sikka Art Festival.
8. Deena Dadachanji
Deena Dadachanji’s passion for learning and expression has taken her across the globe; from Pakistan to Dubai, to Canada and Singapore, all the way to Thailand.
As an alternative educator, she offers children and teens the tools to tap into their creativity and share their ideas and emotions.
She is the founder of Girl Talk Dubai, an organization which offers workshops and events for young girls to learn, express, grow, and feel supported. As a member of Dubai Poetics, she has performed in various events in the UAE.
9. Dana Dajani
10. Tasneem Mayet
Tasneem Mayet is another member of Dubai Poetics. Coming from a third generation South African family, she's always been away from homeland.
She now draws much of her inspiration from Dubai’s architecture. When she is not performing at open mic events around town, Mayet makes a living as a content marketing strategist and financial consultant.