ABU DHABI // What the future holds for The Space Abu Dhabi is unclear after it was announced it would be closing for several months and the current operator’s contract was not renewed.
The arts and culture hub opened on the ground floor of the twofour54 building in November 2013 as a modern community centre.
Until now, anyone could use The Space free of charge for educational or exhibition purposes. Entrepreneurs were also welcome to run pop-up shops on the premises for a fee.
Amenities included a large, bright exhibition floor, private and shared working spaces, sofas, a cafe and a cinema – where The Space’s operator, Brownbook, screened restored classic films for free.
However, Farah Bushnaq, programme manager for The Space, revealed that the contract between Brownbook – a publishing company based in Dubai – and twofour54, had not been renewed.
“Everyone who is contacting me to stage an event after March, I was told to turn them down and tell them we’re no longer going to be there for them,” said Ms Bushnaq.
“They’ve been mostly really sad and shocked and confused about why it’s closing and we can’t really give them a clear answer.”
The venue is to be closed for about five months.
“The Space is undergoing renovation from mid-April to September to create a more interactive space, with facilities and services that can cater to twofour54’s 380-strong partner base,” a spokesman for twofour54, Abu Dhabi’s Media Zone Authority, said.
Hala Sammour, who is planning a week-long embroidery and couture class for March, said The Space was a “perfect” venue for arts education.
“I don’t think there’s another space like that in Abu Dhabi,” said Ms Sammour. “It has the space you need and it has that artistic feel – at the end of the day, it is art that we’re teaching.”
All events scheduled for March will go ahead as planned. More information about the renovation, branding and how the new space will be used is expected to be released by twofour54 later this summer.
Source: uae news