The region's biggest children's library has been inaugurated in Abu Dhabi. With over 35,000 books in multiple languages, the interactive library aims to "encourage youngsters to read, learn, discover and dream up the big ideas of the future".

The Abu Dhabi Children's Library is located next to the Capital city's oldest landmark, Qasr Al Hosn, in the heart of the Capital. Spread over three floors, the 5,250-square metre facility is divided into several age-appropriate, social spaces.

It has interactive learning and play spaces where children can immerse themselves in stories, and the floors are all inspired by the UAE's landscape. It also includes writing, storytelling and filmmaking activities for children and teens.

The reading and learning area is also a valuable resource for school groups, young people and families. A year-round programme for children and families will include workshops and exhibitions designed to encourage creativity and the development of lifelong learning skills.

"Library workshops are designated for children aged up to 14 years and their families," Reem Fadda, director of the Cultural Foundation, told Khaleej Times during the Press preview of the facility on Wednesday. "Unless otherwise indicated, prior booking of at least 24 hours is required. Most workshop materials are provided free and all crafts and artworks produced may be taken home."

Cultural hub

The library is part of the new spaces created at the Cultural Foundation, marking the completion of major renovation and maintenance work at one of Abu Dhabi's most prominent cultural landmarks. In addition to the library, a 900-seat theatre was also inaugurated on Wednesday.

Other new additions announced include a visual arts exhibition, art studios and the house of calligraphy (Bait Al Khatt).

Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Executive Committee, said: "Abu Dhabi's strength as a cultural hub is the deep link between our history and future aspirations.

"Investment in immersive learning spaces such as these will help develop the young leaders of the future.

"With the completion of renovation works and this significant site, Abu Dhabi's communities and visitors will enjoy even greater access to culture, arts, literature and learning experiences that enrich, educate and entertain."

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