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Hayy Jameel Arts Complex, Jeddah

Developed by independent organisation Art Jameel, the 17,000-square-metre centre – which has been 20 years in the making – opened its doors with an inaugural programme.

Hayy stands out in other ways too – it is the city’s sole multidisciplinary arts complex that houses galleries for temporary exhibitions, art and design studios, and soon, the kingdom’s first art house cinema.

Though the idea for setting up a permanent arts space in Jeddah came about two decades ago, it was in 2014 that Art Jameel acquired the plot of land that was to become the site for Hayy. Chosen because of its location in a residential neighbourhood, close to schools and a jazz music centre a few streets away, the centre aims to be embedded in the community’s social fabric. Its opening season features 21 artists, including seven commissions.

Illuminate, A Noor Riyadh Capsule


In developing the centre, Art Jameel was keen to keep the local population in mind, which led to an emphasis on Arabic language initiatives. A number of studios will also be available on the top floor of the centre for artists to use. In addition, Hayy Learning will serve as an educational platform that will offer courses that can stretch from four months to two years.

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