Dubai’s latest cultural venture The Archive aims to spur the creative spirit of its residents.
Many have observed the lack of ‘cool’ creative hangouts in Dubai but the city seems to be finally embracing the need for creative outputs, with new start ups including MAKE Business Hub and Conceptual Arts both recently launching aiming to help burgeoning entrepreneurs and struggling artists alike. The latest project to broaden Dubai’s imaginative horizons is The Archive. Located in the heart of Al Safa Park (by the Gate five entrance), The Archive is a contemporary library focused on art, culture, design and literature all featuring works from the Middle East and North African region and is the first of its kind.
The Archive stands not only as a library resource but as a platform where people are able to come and learn new things in an interactive way.
“The Archive stands not only as a library resource but as a platform where people are able to come and learn new things in an interactive way”, explains Sarah Malki, the Librarian and Program manager who updates the material every month and is hoping to make it the largest collection of specialised literature in the region. “We offer a multitude of different things all in one venue, allowing people to really use this space as a place of learning, whether it’s simply gaining knowledge from a talk on self publishing, or an interactive workshop on how to bind a book from scratch.”
With soft jazz playing over the hum of alfresco thinkers, the space, which was designed by Japanese architect Takeshi Muruyama in 1975, also includes power points for mobile laptop users as well as a café and a busy program of regular cultural workshops, which include architecture, film screenings and art talks. “We have collected and displayed our books as well as created a program that really gets people to interact with the library and its literature,” Sarah continues. “We’re focusing solely on this region because we want to dispel the negative perceptions and instead try to look at the positive such as the rich culture and heritage that exists within the region.”