The Emirati best-selling singer turned fantasy novelist

Ahmed Bukhatir, an Emirati world-renowned singer and now the author of the highly anticipated young adult novel “Dragon Boy”, has just signed a book deal with the prestigious UK publishers Mathew James Publishing. The “Dragon Boy” is already being pitched at the Cannes Film Festival by Ahmed Bukhatir’s literary agent Susan Mears, with a major film company already showing interest.

For me as a humble UAE Arab man to have been signed by a mainstream UK Publisher, well, I see that as something that is a very positive development given that English is not my mother tongue. For me I can’t tell you how excited I am about this.”

Previously known throughout the Middle East and Europe as a famous singer of nasheeds, which are Islamic spiritual odes sung without the support of musical instruments, Ahmed has had a stunning 20-year music career with tours across the Middle East, Europe, North America, Australia, and South Africa. Regularly topping the Virgin Top 10 Charts across the Middle East, his album “Hasanat” has sold millions of copies across the globe. His new single, which celebrated Ramadan, is titled “Can You Forgive Me?”

Now transitioning from singer to author, Ahmed believes that sharing his story, with his background, could be something that young adults (and readers of all ages) can appreciate and get behind as part of an exciting new chapter for him.

When I was eight years old and over in the USA I saw a film called ‘The Never Ending Story’ which featured dragons, monsters and other fantastic creatures and it just utterly absorbed, fascinated and captivated me. Since then I have always had a really strong interest in this type of fantasy fiction. Over the years the desire to produce some kind of work that featured this kind of material just grew and grew in me but I wasn’t sure how to fulfil my ambition to achieve this.”

Having previously been an ambassador of the International Schools of Creative Science, as well as completing a six-day tour of England and Wales in 2018 to raise funds for the humanitarian disaster in Syria, Ahmed has long been a part of both the creative industry as well as the humanities. Transitioning into being an author has brought on new experiences, but it has also allowed a new space to express his past experiences as a nasheed singer as well. Ahmed’s ability to retain his originality, whether through singing or writing, is one of his main gifts as a creative artist.

Around eight years back I was flying to Canada and I saw another movie called ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ and it was then that I decided I had to write my own book for young people and that it would be called Dragon Boy. I just figured that there must be lots of other kids and young people, who like I had been all those years back, would love this kind of story. I just wanted to share my version and my story, and so ‘Dragon Boy’ came about.”

Already having his writing style being compared to the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien, father of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, Ahmed has been concentrating all his efforts on his new deal with the Children’s and Young Adult Fantasy series with MJ Publishing, set to be published in 2020. A UK launch and signing tour with WHSmith will take place, which will likely incorporate his songs and singing as well as he tours the country. Be sure to keep an eye out for the “Dragon Boy” next year!