Fully Booked Dubai Art Book Fair — Events and Entrepreneurship, 2016–current
My role: Co-founder and co-director; management and leadership of budgeting, exhibitor relations, events, venue, partnerships, exhibition design, graphic design, production, and freelancers



I co-founded Fully Booked, a unique international platform for 200+ creatives from or of the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA region), anchored by a flagship namesake art book fair. Along with my co-founder, Anthony Tino, I curated and produced the fair’s 3 consecutive annual editions as part of Dubai Art Week. The event—the first of its kind in the Gulf—was hosted by the region’s foremost creative hub, Alserkal Avenue.

The fairs were made possible by a combination of entrepreneurship, Kickstarter, and importantly, 30+ strategic partnerships, including with Aesop, Art Dubai (art fair), and the British Council.


2019 EDITION
           Alserkal Avenue, our host venue for the third time, once again welcomed thousands of visitors during Dubai Art Week. The Fully Booked events have allowed for the creative, accessible, and democratic dissemination of information. Art books enable education, empowerment, and access to visual language.




2018 EDITION
          The second art book fair welcomed 45 vendors—almost double the number of the first edition. The programming schedule, which I developed alongside 5 local event partners, was also increasingly robust and dynamic.

I oversaw, directed, and managed the Saudi graphic designer Yusef Alahmad as he curated a 40-designer show of Arabic and Farsi posters. I commissioned Shamma Buhazza to design the digitally-printed graphic wall mural.





2017 EDITION
          Fully Booked’s premiere featured 26 international vendors and 60+ exhibiting artists, designers, publishers, and institutions, creating a free, alternative, and accessible space to engage the public. My co-founder and I developed fair programming, including artwork, film screenings, workshops and talks, in partnership with the Crossway Foundation and the British Council.


2017 custom wall mural featuring photographs by Nouf Alhimiary. All event photography by Helga Traxler.


DISTRIBUTION & PARTICIPATION IN OTHER FAIRS
          Outside of running the 3 annual fairs in Dubai, I have operated Fully Booked as a continuing small business alongside my co-founder. We have:
  • Featured and sold curated materials from or of the MENASA region that are often rare, hard to find, or in limited distribution.
  • Realized 250+ acquisitions (sales) by 18 institutional collections, including the British Library, the Getty, the Met, MoMA, and SFMOMA. 
  • Exhibited as a vendor in 25 art book fairs, including in Beijing, Belgium, Chicago, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

More details are available at fullybooked.site.


“Tabling” as Fully Booked the San Francisco Art Book Fair 2018 (I’m on the far right at the green table). Photo courtesy of the fair’s organizers.
Mark