Emirati singer writes his own dragon tale; book series to be launched soon

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Emirati singer writes his own dragon tale; book series to be launched soon

Sharjah - The 43 year-old and his songs are a fixture in the top 10 hits across the Middle East.

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Published: Tue 4 Jun 2019, 1:40 PM

Last updated: Tue 4 Jun 2019, 3:45 PM

Ahmed Bukhatir has been famous for being that Emirati singer who topped the charts and sold countless albums. Now, he's off to a new 'adventure' - as he signed a major deal for the first book of his fantasy series titled 'Dragon Boy'.

The 43 year-old and his songs are a fixture in the top 10 hits across the Middle East, and his best-selling albums - including 'Hasanat' - earned him a massive following on social media. He now has 2.3 million Facebook followers, 129,000 Twitter fans, 128,620 Instagram supporters, and 197,700 YouTube subscribers.
But now, A.R. - as he is to be known in his new role as an author - has been channelling all his energy into the upcoming launch of 'Dragon Boy'. He recently clinched the book deal with the UK-based Matthew James Publishing for his epic fiction series for children and young adults.
Bukhatir told Khaleej Times that while singing is in his blood, writing has long been part of his life.
"I can never stop singing, but writing has always been part of me since I was a child, I just hadn't discovered that talent yet back then. But when the 'Dragon Boy' idea came to me, I couldn't hold it back," he said.

He started writing immediately and fell in love with the story and the characters he came up with.

"Of course, this is a talent and all talents need to be developed and polished, and that's what I did. And now, by the grace of God, I have a finished novel."

'Dragon Boy' is a series of novels, Bukhatir explained, and the first book is set to be officially launched in March 2020.

"I've already written two books and three are on the way," he said.

Bukhatir, a father of five, is planning to have all his books translated into several languages. "But first, I want to see how readers get engaged with it and how they enjoy reading the series."

Writing a book is a task that is both arduous and rewarding at the same time, he said, adding that he had to hire two editors throughout the process.

Beginnings of Dragon Boy

The origin of Dragon Boy goes back all the way to when Bukhatir was only eight years old.

"I was in the US and saw a film called 'The Never Ending Story', which featured dragons, monsters and other fantastic creatures. And it completely captivated me."

Since then, he has developed a strong interest in fantasies and incredible tales of adventure. Over the years, his desire to produce some work that featured such a material grew non-stop.

"I wasn't sure how to fulfil my ambition to achieve this, though," he said.

But when he saw the movie 'How to Train Your Dragon' on his way to Canada eight years ago - that was when he decided to write his own book for the youth.

"I just figured there must be lots of other kids and young people who would love this kind of story. I just wanted to share my version, my story, and so Dragon Boy came about."

An unpublished version of 'Dragon Boy' ranked third - from around 200 submissions - in the prestigious Montegrappa Writing Prize for first-time writers in the GCC, which was judged by a renowned literary critic in the UK, Luigi Bonomi.

Now that 'A.R.' has signed the partnership with Matthew James Publishing, 'Dragon Boy' will be launched in the UK in early 2020, in tandem with a Dubai release.

A.R.'s writing style has already been compared to the legendary writer J.R.R Tolkien, who penned the iconic classic 'Lord of the Rings'.

His work has also generated major interest at this year's Cannes Film Festival, and A.R's agent Susan Mears (Susan Mears Literary Agency, London) has been in discussion with four major film companies, regarding movie rights for the series.

Bukhatir is delighted to have signed with a UK publisher. "The UK produced such great writers such as Shakespeare, Dickens, Tolkien, JK Rowling and I wanted my book to be reviewed, read and loved by the people who acknowledged those great writers," he said.


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