Coronavirus: Alserkal Avenue to suspend programming amid global pandemic

A number of exhibitions and venues will be affected, while shops and restaurants will remain open

Alserkal Avenue, an arts and culture neighbourhood in Al Quoz, is taking precautionary measures in the face of a global pandemic. Courtesy Alserkal Avenue
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A number of exhibitions at Alserkal Avenue will be cancelled or postponed, an announcement confirmed on Saturday. The new precautionary measures are being taken as a way to help control the spread of Covid-19.

"This global pandemic has impacted all of us in ways big and small, but what has come out of these past few weeks is that each of us has a role to play in limiting the spread of this virus," said Alserkal director Vilma Jurkute. "As a community, we are conscious of our responsibility to safeguard our audiences as well as our fellow community members."

Earlier this month, Galleries Night and any large-scale gatherings for Alserkal Art Week were cancelled. Now new, additional measures are now being rolled out at Dubai's creative hub.

Alserkal Residency Spring Cycle 2020 has been suspended, with the artists in residence leaving the UAE this week.

Concrete's exhibition, New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives, will now be accessible by appointment only, and the team is also working on a way to take the exhibition online for those who cannot visit the venue in person.

Concrete's exhibition New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives is now accessible by appointment only. Courtesy the artist and Zaman Books & Curating

The choice to move exhibitions online extends to the 15-plus shows originally scheduled for Alserkal Art Week, which can be previewed digitally. Anyone interested can sign up here for details about an online viewing gallery and 3D walkthroughs of all exhibitions.

A4 Space, Cinema Akil, Sima Performing Arts and The Junction will temporarily close until Wednesday, April 1. Other venues, including Gulf Photo Plus, remain open to the public for the time being.

All retail and culinary concepts in the area will remain open.

The Alserkal team also assured its visitors that all public seating areas and "high-touch points" are being sanitised on a regular basis.

"Dubai has always been home to incredible stories of resilience of the creative spirit," added Jurkute. "Now more than ever, we will need to support and encourage each other to find the collective strength to come through these challenging times together."

The global pandemic has seen many of UAE's events cancelled and venues close. Most recently, this also included many of Abu Dhabi's main attractions, such as Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Qasr Al Hosn and Yas Island's theme parks.