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Introducing Hayy, Saudi Arabia’s Upcoming Creative Hub


Hayy, Saudi Arabia

Spread across 17,000 square meters of land in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is the location of Hayy: Creative Hub, the city’s upcoming creative space by the non-profit, Saudi-based foundation Art Jameel.

Hayy, which means neighborhood in Arabic, has been envisioned as a three-story, multi-disciplinary cultural complex dedicated to the arts, theatre, filmmaking, and more. Dubai-based Ibda Design has been commissioned to design the hub, with the aim of creating a space that brings the Kingdom’s diverse cultural community together.

According to the news section on the Abdul Lateef Jameel website, Fady Mohammed Jameel, President of Art Jameel, said, “We are delighted to support our home, Saudi Arabia, and its fast-growing cultural scene through the development of Hayy: Creative Hub, which is set to become a base for Saudi Arabian talent, and help nurture a new generation of creatives, in addition to providing job opportunities and training. The concept has been honed over many years: the team at Art Jameel has worked not only with the brilliant architects ibda design, but also a range of community partners to develop the Hub as a truly innovative destination.”

The complex features open internal courtyards surrounded by shaded terraces and walkways, and its shared facilities include a theatre and events spaces designed for a range of activities − from performances and exhibitions to conferences and community markets. The hub will act as an incubator of sorts, hosting art galleries, digital entrepreneurs, playwrights, photographers, comedy clubs, cafes, and more.

The Hayy’s programming is set to “include world-class local and international exhibitions of modern and contemporary art; a digital hub for upcoming Saudi Arabian producers and directors; a professional theatre plus performance spaces; and a rolling programme of educational events for all ages.”

In an effort to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and open it up to the world, Saudi Arabia is focusing on a number of key areas in line with its national Vision 2030 strategy, one being the creation of more cultural activities.

The Art Newspaper reports that as part of this movement, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman “has launched an artistic arm of his philanthrophic Misk Foundation known as the Misk Institute, while the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture will be publicly accessible in the eastern city of Dhahran by the summer.”

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