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First Dubai Poetry Festival gearing up to be a popular affair with a thousand poets penciled in to take part

One thousand poets from 45 countries are expected to participate in the first edition of the Dubai International Poetry Festival 2009, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation announced yesterday.

The festival will be held from March 4 to 10 at Madinat Jumeirah House of Poetry in Shindagha, Dubai.

Nigerian playwright and poet Wole Soyinka, winner of 1986 Nobel Prize, will address the opening session of a festival themed "A Thousands Poets - One Language".

His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ordered the launch of the Dubai International Poetry Festival last July, under the theme "A Thousand Poets - One Language", to make Dubai a synonym for poetry.

The festival aims to reflect the universal nature of poetry as a bridge between cultures, regardless of nationality, beliefs, or economic circumstances. The event is considered the first of its kind in the region and it will combine various forms of local, classical and modern poetry, in terms of size and concept.

The different languages used by poets will not be an obstacle to the public as it will be able to follow translation - Arabic and English - on the big screens provided.

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