Middle East Retail Forum (MRF) 2023

MRF 2024

Isobel Abulhoul was born and educated at Cambridge in the UK. She came to Dubai in 1968 and it has been home for her ever since. Abulhoul co-founded Magrudy’s, a bookshop chain, in 1975. In addition to Magrudy’s, she was a co-founder of Jerboa Books, a publishing company which produces children’s books in Arabic and English. Abulhoul has a keen and abiding interest in education and literacy. Following a chance conversation and the support of Emirates Airline, she founded and directed the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, from its inception until 2019. In 2013, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and also the Festival patron, issued a Decree forming the Emirates Literature Foundation, naming Abulhoul as one of the trustees on the Board. In addition, Abulhoul also holds the position of CEO of the Foundation. She is also a Trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction Board, Secretary General of the Kalimat Foundation and Director of the Board for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library and a member of the Supreme Committee for the Year of Tolerance.