On Monday, head of Cairo International Convention Center Sami Younes announced that the Cairo International Book Fair will now be held twice a year:
This year, 2018, is set to be the first year of twin fairs. The annual book fair is traditionally held at the end of January and early February each year, inaugurating the start of the Arab book-fair season. This second edition will be held in the fall, according to state-run media outlet Egy News.
Younes “added that this year’s second edition is expected to be held in September or October,” with the General Egyptian Book Organization putting together events, Daily News Egypt reported. Younes put down the second edition to “popular demand.”
Indeed, the fair is one of the most well-trafficked in the region, and even slow years will see more than an estimated million visits. Next year’s Cairo International Book Fair — the 50th — is expected to be a major event, with authors invited from around the world.
However, the Cairo Book Fair isn’t Egypt’s only large book-fair event. There is also a spring fair in Alexandria, this year set for March 22-April 4.
According to officials, the 49th Cairo International Book Fair — held this January and February 2018 — saw more than 2.5 million visits, with 650,000 of them in the first two days. DNE quoted Haytham El Hag Ali, head of the General Egyptian Book Organization, as saying that the 2018 fair also boasted a 16% increase in sales over previous years.
Still, it’s unclear whether any international publishers would be willing to come in for a second annual fair.
The Amman Book Fair is already set for September 26-October 6, and the globally important Frankfurt Book Fair is October 10-14. The International Book Fair in Algiers is generally held at the end of October, with the Sharjah, Kuwait, Doha, Jeddah, and Beirut Book Fairs tightly packed in November and December.