The theatre opened its doors in 2008 boasting three performance spaces, a 535-seat capacity theatrical auditorium and it fast became a vibrant community hub for Dubai, supporting local drama groups, educational initiatives and hosting West End shows and ballets. The space sadly shut up shop in 2016 and was greatly missed, but it’s back in Mall of the Emirates and we’re all for it.
The current new lease of life is temporary (it’s time to support local shows and productions if you want to see it stay open) and there are already several impressive events planned for the season including a major children’s production: Mr. Men and Little Miss.
The stellar line-up of shows to look forward to include Fig Tree on February 20, Divas by Jahida Wehbe on February 29, the Breakin’ Dance Convention in March, French Touch Yoga in April, and the extremely popular Sharmila Dance Extravaganza, also in April.
If you’re more of a movie buff, independent films will also be screened at the theatre, starting with Documentary for Sama, which was nominated for the 2020 edition of the Oscars.
But it won’t just be theatrical or cinematic entertainment on offer. Workshops and classes for the body and the mind, for those all ages, have also been planned.
“Seventeen years ago, there was no theatre scene in the UAE. I felt children here were missing out on the joys of live theatre.
I’d seen how much my own three children responded to it and loved it. It encouraged them to take more interest in reading, because we always went to see literary adaptations. It also encouraged them to develop an interest in drama, which led to them being more confident in public speaking – and improved their self-esteem overall,” said Rania Ashur, the founder of Art For All and the motivating force responsible for the theatre opening its doors once more.
“When the opportunity came up for Art For All to re-open The Theatre at Mall of the Emirates, we jumped at the chance. We’d spent so many years hosting wonderful events there. This was our opportunity to bring something amazing back to Dubai.”