News & Events

Art Jameel develops Saudi’s first creative arts hub – a major new cultural development for the Middle East

26 Jul 2017

It has been specially designed for a range of activities, including exhibitions, workshops, educational initiatives, training courses and community markets.

Art Jameel has been granted approval from Jeddah Municipality to start the development of the first major centre for the creative arts in Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with the General Entertainment Authority. The hub, developed and funded by Art Jameel, will act as an incubator for creatives, bringing together and nurturing artists, photographers, musicians, filmmakers and creative entrepreneurs.

In 2015, Community Jameel announced a fund for Art Jameel in Jeddah; over the past two years, the organisation has developed its plans in consultation with the creative community, and sought the necessary government approvals and licences. In July, construction began on the 17,000-square-metre development, located in the north of Jeddah; the centre will feature art galleries, a theatre, rehearsal and events spaces, cafes and a restaurant, plus a central outdoor courtyard for performances and screenings. It has been specially designed for a range of activities, including exhibitions, workshops, educational initiatives, training courses and community markets. The development will also include a not-for-profit arts centre programmed by Art Jameel, featuring world-class exhibitions by Saudi and international artists.

Project Location

Working alongside its sister organisation Community Jameel, Art Jameel supports and produces a wide range of contemporary arts and heritage initiatives in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East. The creative hub in Jeddah is among the first such initiatives in the Middle East. The centre’s programme will provide and encourage support for Saudi artists and creative entrepreneurs; it is part of a range of new Art Jameel initiatives designed to enrich the thriving cultural scene in the region and beyond, including a new Arts Centre in Dubai, and a long-term partnership with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Fady Mohammed Jameel, President of Art Jameel, said: “The news today means we are one step closer to delivering on our promise of developing a unique incubator for creative arts in Saudi Arabia.

“In March we said that Art Jameel is embarking on a new phase of development – strengthening our programmes in Saudi Arabia and across the world. This new incubator in Jeddah – our home – is part of that journey and will be followed, in the future, with other incubators in different cities of the Kingdom.

“We would like to thank Jeddah Municipality, the General Entertainment Authority and all the government authorities for their help in making this happen and their enthusiasm for this landmark project.”

While international artists and partnerships will be part of the hub’s programming, the focus is on nurturing and showcasing homegrown talent – from contemporary artists, actors, writers, photographers, filmmakers and producers, to entrepreneurs and young businesses. The centre is part of Art Jameel’s efforts to nurture the creative industries and provide educational opportunities for the public through learning and participation. The centre will complement Art Jameel’s current work in Jeddah, including the founding of the Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Jeddah and support for the Jeddah Sculpture Museum.

Further details regarding the creative hub’s architecture, partnerships and programming will be announced later this year.