Hayy Jameel to Become the New Home of Alliance Française Saudi Arabia

Hayy Jameel to Become the New Home of Alliance Française Saudi Arabia

Alliance Française to Open at Hayy Jameel in Jeddah

From left to right: Larry Lamartiniere (Alliance Française Managing Director), Mohammed Nehad (Consul General of France in Jeddah), Zaher Al Munajeed (President of Alliance Française), HE Ludovic Pouille (Ambassador of France), Hussein Jameel (Director of Community Jameel), Faisal Al Sammanoudi (Chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel Enterprises), Rowaid Al Sawaf (CEO of Abdul Latif Jameel Enterprises), Marguerite Bickel (CEO of Alliance Française d’Arabie saoudite), Antonia Carver (Director of Art Jameel)


Declaration of intent to establish Hayy Jameel in Jeddah as the new home of Alliance Française Saudi Arabia (AFAS) made in the presence of HE Ambassador of France M. Ludovic Pouille, the Consul General of France in Jeddah, M. Mohammed Nehad, the President of Alliance Francaise M. Zaher Al Munajeed, the Director of Community Jameel,  M. Hussein Jameel, and the Director of Art Jameel, Ms. Antonia Carver.

Art Jameel, an organization that supports artists and creative communities, announces that the French language and cultural center is scheduled to open  within Hayy Jameel, Jeddah’s home for the arts in September 2024. This calculated step, which opens a new chapter for French language and culture of the Kingdom, demonstrates the two organizations’ shared commitment to promoting global interchange and creating interconnected, culture-focused communities.

With the new Alliance Française (AFAS) space, the Jeddah branch has a great chance to provide more courses and cultural programs to meet the growing interests of its varied student body. The new space and program will enhance and add to Hayy Jameel’s current mandate and identity, building on AFAS’s mission to promote cross-cultural dialogue. It will offer, among other things, cutting-edge French language courses, fusion cuisine workshops, French film screenings, and talks on ethical and environmentally conscious practices, bridging the culinary, cinematic, and sustainable realms between Saudi Arabia and France.

Established in December 2021, Hayy Jameel is a symbol of cultural vibrancy in the Kingdom. Hayy, which means “neighborhood” in Arabic, alludes to the friendly and cooperative atmosphere of the complex and its goal of uniting a variety of artistic specialties in one location. Hayy Jameel is home to Hayy Cinema, Saudi Arabia’s first autonomous center for film and audio-visual arts, as well as a variety of art, learning, and events venues managed by Art Jameel for the benefit of the community. Alliance Francaise has joined the group of creative businesses known as the Hayy Residents. These businesses include the baking academy Aysh, the performance and comedy center Fennec, the fashion and design store Homegrown, and the art gallery Athr, alongside Almohtaraf, Riwaq Dahr and Sofia’s Bistro.

Situated on the first level of Hayy Jameel, the 80-square-meter area offers an improved learning environment with four contemporary classrooms and a well-designed lounge-library section. By utilizing cutting-edge digital platforms, AFAS aims to provide interactive and captivating experiences to enhance the learning of French while meeting the changing needs of the Saudi populace. Through a dynamic collaborative public program that takes place across Hayy Jameel and in partnership with other Residents within the complex, throughout the year, the facility will also act as a platform for both local and French artists. Visit and for additional details.

About Alliance Française Saudi Arabia (AFAS)

Founded in 2010, Alliance Française of Saudi Arabia is the official French language institute and cultural center in Saudi Arabia.

Alliance Française’s goal is to promote and facilitate French language learning and to build briges between French speakers and Saudi culture. Alliance Française of Saudi Arabia is part of the global Alliances Françaises network, counting more than 800 branches around the world, a more than 130 years old Institution, widely recognized and acclaimed for the quality of its teaching services and cultural events.

Alliance Francaise of Saudi Arabia has five branches across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:

  • Riyadh, As Safarat established for the past 10 years in the heart of the Diplomatic Quarter
  • Riyadh Ar Rabih, in the North of the capital city
  • Jeddah
  • Al Khobar
  • AlUla, in partnership with the Royal Commission for Al-Ula

Alliance Française Saudi Arabia (AFAS) is a leading cultural and educational institution dedicated to promoting the French language and Francophone cultures in Saudi Arabia. With branches across the Kingdom, AFAS offers a diverse range of language courses, cultural events, and exchange programs, fostering intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding between Saudi Arabia and France.

About Art Jameel

Art Jameel supports artists and creative communities. Founded and supported by the Jameel

family philanthropies, the independent organisation is headquartered in Saudi Arabia and the UAE and works globally. Art Jameel’s programmes – across exhibitions, commissions, research, learning and community-building – are grounded in a dynamic understanding of the arts as fundamental to life and accessible to all.

Art Jameel’s two institutions – Hayy Jameel, a dedicated complex for the arts and creativity in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Jameel Arts Centre, an innovative contemporary institution in Dubai, UAE – are complemented by digital initiatives plus collaborations with major institutional partners and a network of practitioners across the world.

About Hayy Jameel

Hayy Jameel is developed and managed by Art Jameel as Saudi Arabia’s dedicated arts complex and creative hub. Hayy Jameel joins Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai – which opened in 2018 – in its efforts to build culture-oriented, connected communities. Designed by waiwai, Hayy references the Arabic word for neighborhood, denoting the convivial and collaborative nature of the complex and its intent on bringing together a wide range of creative disciplines in one destination.

Alongside the museum Hayy Arts, education platforms Hayy Learning and Hayy Studios is Hayy Cinema, Saudi’s first independent audiovisual centre, designed by Jeddah-based architects Bricklab – and Hayy Explorers, a ‘drop-in’ children’s zone, featuring a year-long dynamic programme. Fenaa Hayy, Salaat Hayy, Community Cinema & Project Space are multi-purpose spaces for performances, workshops and talks. They open onto Saha, a central community courtyard underpinned by philosophies of sustainability and adaptability.

The Art Jameel-run spaces are joined by Hayy Residents – a set of pioneering, homegrown creative enterprises that range from contemporary art and performance to design and publishing, culinary institutes. The Hayy Residents include ATHR Gallery, Fennec, Al Mohtaraf, Homegrown, Aysh Academy, and soon, Riwaq Dahr and Sodia’s Bistro.

The launch of Hayy Jameel in 2021 marked 75 years of Jameel family global philanthropies and is in line with Vision 2030, coming to fruition with a new era for the arts and creative sector across the Kingdom.

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