Opened in 2011, Al Qattara Arts Centre has been developed around the earlier Bayt Bin Ati al-Darmaki, a traditional mud-brick tower and house located on a mound overlooking the date-palm gardens of Qattara Oasis.
Carefully restored traditional local architecture, the centre’s mandate is to provide a venue where arts and culture can be studied, practiced and developed by the entire UAE community.
During the creation of the Qattara Arts Centre archaeological excavations revealed a five meter sequence of archaeological layers or ‘horizons’ reaching back from the Late Islamic period to the Iron Age, 3000 years ago. The Iron Age industrial installations forming the earliest phase of this sequence are displayed within a specially redesigned basement for presentation to the public as part of the wider interpretation of the archaeology of the site and the oases of Al Ain.
The Centre offers extensive cultural and artistic programmes on local artistic tradition and practices. A dry studio is used for a variety of activities such as music classes and art crafting, while a wet studio is available for drawing and painting classes.
The centre also boasts a fully-equipped pottery studio, a digital room suitable for photography and computer classes, spacious calligraphy studio, an exhibition hall, and a café. Additionally, it includes a gallery, library and visitors reception area.