DUCTAC has closed: search for new premises goes on

DUCTAC, the theatre and arts centre on top of Mall of the Emirates, has closed. Hopefully it’s a temporary suspension; a statement on the website (actually, it’s the only thing on the website at the moment) says DUCTAC has been looking for a new home “better suited to the changing needs of our customers and patrons”.

“We have been working diligently to locate alternative premises that would offer our customers and patrons an enhanced DUCTAC experience that reflects the evolution of the creative and arts community. Unfortunately we were unable to find a suitable location. As a result, we have taken the difficult decision to close our current facilities.”

Back in April DUCTAC said it would indeed be closing down at the end of June but would be reopening at Mirdiff City Centre after the summer. The Mirdiff move has clearly fallen through.

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Mall of the Emirates is the jewel in the crown of Majid Al Futtaim’s mall business – it currently runs two dozen malls of various sizes, including Mirdiff City Centre. Despite the unlikely location (DUCTAC wasn’t exactly on the main retail pathway) it seems possible that Majid Al Futtaim didn’t see an arts centre as adding too much to the experience of the 42m people who visited the mall last year for shopping, entertainment and eats. We asked for a comment, of course, but didn’t get one.

DUCTAC says it will “continue to support arts and culture in the UAE through other avenues”; there’s no word yet about what this means.

Established in 2006, the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre was the non-profit cross-community arts centre in the Gulf to run with purpose-built and professionally equipped facilities. Its 7,424 m2 included two theatres, the 540-seat main house and a 150-seat studio; an exhibition space; dance and rehearsal studios; workshops and classrooms; and its arts materials shop. It was very busy, providing a modestly priced smaller venue for touring companies and semi-pros – especially for kids’ shows – and workshop space for clubs and classes.

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