Abdul Ghaffar Hussain bags Al Habtoor Lifetime Achievement Award
Abdul Ghaffar Hussain, prominent Emirati businessman, one of the first published writers of Dubai and a philanthropist, has been awarded the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Lifetime Achievement Award at the seventh Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

Hussain, who was born in Deira in 1935, has functioned in a number of high-profile positions over the years alongside being an accomplished writer and translator. He was presented the award, now in its second year, by Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor and Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor shared his heartfelt congratulations with Abdul Ghaffar Hussain, saying, “Abdul Ghaffar Hussain’s contribution to the growth of Dubai in his many areas of expertise is unparalleled. It is a great honour to present this pillar of our society with the Lifetime Achievement Award. His work in the Dubai Municipality, where he worked for more than 20 years, has left an indelible mark on the city, as has his work in the establishment of the Emirates Human Rights Association.
The residents of Dubai have many reasons to be indebted to him.” Isobel Abulhoul said, “Our deepest congratulations to Abdul Ghaffar Hussain, whose contribution to Dubai and the world of literature makes him the perfect choice for this award. Along with his humanitarian work and achievements in journalism, Abdul Ghaffar has been an icon for the people of the UAE. We would like to thank Khalaf Ahmad al Habtoor for establishing this award to recognise the country’s literary heroes.” Hussain published the Dubai Municipality Guide with Kamal Hamzain 1963 and has written a number of poetry collections. In the same year, he established the first public library in the UAE, Dubai Public Library, as well as Al Fahidi Museum. He also co-founded the Dubai News magazine and the Society Journal to which he later contributed to as a writer and has written and published a number of articles in newspapers and magazines on a range of topics from history to current events.

Hussain is also the first Emirati storywriter to have his story studied in schools in the UAE. Among his many achievements, Hussain was honoured by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Cordon in 2011. The Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2014 to recognize outstanding and long-lasting contributions to the world of literary endeavour and is awarded to an individual who has made significant contributions to literature in the UAE.The 2014 recipient was Dr Rafia Ghubash, founder of the Dubai Women’s Museum. The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is taking place in Dubai from March 3 to 7 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice- President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage.
The Festival is now part of the Emirates Literature Foundation, which was established in 2013 by Royal decree. The Festival’s full author line-up, programme and tickets are available online at Tickets can also be purchased in person at WHSmith stores in Dubai Mall, Marina Mall and Oasis Centre in Dubai and Al Wahda Mall and Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. The Festival operates a dedicated membership scheme called Festival Friends which offers discounts on tickets as well as benefit packages.

The Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Foundation (KAHF) was officially launched in January 2013. The aim of the Foundation is to focus mainly on developing and improving human societies in need in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and beyond; to improve the lives of some of the poorest people, with a high priority on health and development; to provide assistance to communities around the world affected by natural disasters and social calamities and to meet the needs of orphans; to help improve education and scientific research and promote inter-religious and inter-cultural communications. In October 2014 Khalaf Al Habtoor Foundation launched the ‘Pathways to Peace’ initiative for the Israeli- Palestinian Conflict Resolution with the support of former US president Jimmy Carter. Al Habtoor Group Chairman, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, has allocated 20 percent of the Al Habtoor Group for the Foundation.