Freelancer’s free space

A4 is a new community space in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue, a much-needed spot for freelancers, artists and the creative community to congregate.
The communal space at A$ in Dubai features a small screening room with beanbag chairs. Courtesy A4
The communal space at A$ in Dubai features a small screening room with beanbag chairs. Courtesy A4

The creative community in Dubai has been calling Al Quoz home for quite some time, but until now, there really hasn’t been anywhere to put up your feet and take five.

A trip to Alserkal Avenue has never ended in a quiet cup of coffee because there was simply nowhere to go. That has all changed since the opening of A4.

What is A4?

A4, which officially opened on April 21, is a collective space covering 6,000 square feet, with multipurpose areas dedicated to nurture creative ideas.

The main area is a two-storey open seating area with cosy, cocoon-like cubbies and large tables perfect for meetings and private work stations.

There is also free Wi-Fi and a cafe serving sandwiches, drinks and salads.

At the back is a small film-screening room with beanbags and a function room that can accommodate multiple activities.

Who is behind it?

The space was designed by Fadi Sarieddine, a Lebanese architect, and it was commissioned by Abdelmonem Alserkal, the developer of Alserkal Avenue and a patron of the arts in Dubai.

Who are the main users?

Located in the middle of the Alserkal Avenue Arts district, it is a meeting point for gallery owners, patrons, artists and other members of the creative community.

“Everyone is welcome to use the space free of charge, connect with like minds and benefit from our institutional and home-grown programming,” says Vilma Jurkute, the director of Alserkal Avenue.

Why did it open?

“We felt there was a need for a collective space that connects the creative community, through multi-disciplinary areas such as a co-working space, library, cafe, cinema room, concept store and a project space. It is basically a space dedicated to inspire and direct those that independently pursue projects and are living their journey as a freelancer or a small creative start-up,” says Jurkute.

What about the future?

The space will hold institutional and home-grown programming through collaborative events with Campus Art Dubai, Dubai International Film Festival, Aliance Français and other cultural institutions. At the end of this month, the TedX Dubai Salon will also be held there.

“A part of the home-grown programming will be shaped to mentor and incubate creative ideas through workshops, critique series, lectures, documentary screenings and other initiatives,” says Jurkute. “It is simply a platform for cultural minds looking for support and direction to successfully launch their projects.”

• For more information, visit www.alserkalavenue.ae or call 04 416 1900

aseaman@thenational.ae

Published: May 17, 2014 04:00 AM

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