Export Dubai Tunisia $1.88 bn Marina Al Qussor waterfront development project to include residences, retail, tourist attractions and golf course. Morocco $2 bn Amwaj project waterfront metropolis in Rabat is ‘a realization of the vision of the two countries and reflects the strong bond between the UAE and the Kingdom in diplomacy and economy.’ Morocco $0.5 bn Marina de Casablanca twin-tower development includes a ‘business and life’ center, and will house a 5-star hotel, offices and entertainment / shopping center. Morocco $6.9 bn Contract with King Mohammed VI to develop communities comprising residential, commercial, retail, leisure and entertainment facilities and mountain and sea resorts. Egypt In Cairo, an extensive project will acquire a prime location on the east bank of the river Nile. The Cairo Nile Corniche Towers, will express ‘Qatari culture and sophistication’ on Cairo’s skyline. Sudan Qatari Diar has signed a strategic investment agreement with the Sudanese Government to develop a major tourist and residential resort on the banks of the Blue Nile. Built on a prime site opposite Khartoum’s Presidential Palace, it will span 100,000 sq m. Djibouti $1.5 bn Nakheel is constructing Djibouti’s first 5-star hotel in a first-phase project for a luxury tourist destination.
Jordan $0.5 bn The Dead Sea Golf and Beach Resort is one of the largest undertakings in Jordan property development.
Syria Ibn Hani development will host a resort develpment of stunningly designed villas, beach houses, apartments, and a luxurious 5-star hotel.
Egypt $16 bn 30 million sq. m Gamsha Bay township project in Hurghada ‘will offer the very best of Egypt with its coral reefs, hills and beautiful coastline.’ Egypt $4.15 bn Emaar signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Egyptian Government to start work on an integrated community based in Egypt’s new Smart Village in Greater Cairo. Other developments include Cairo Heights and Alexandria.
Morocco $0.6 bn Al Houara Resort in Tangier is the first overseas project for Qatari Diar, offering an authentic and unique Moroccan way of life for its residents, suited with the company’s understanding of the Arab character.
Saudi Arabia $26.7 bn King Abdullah Economic City. Largest private investment ever in Saudi Arabia.
Seychelles ‘A 5-star resort with full leisure and shopping amenities and residential villas.’
It’s not just about the Gulf, it’s about where the Gulf is going. In order to keep making returns on their public-private investments the Gulf’s major developers are bursting at the seams with domestic projects. After an accelerated push for development in the region, it is now an opportune time to consider the built – there is now something to react to, protest against. In the meantime, the development companies are highstrung kinetic machines of investment, in need of release. Hence Modernism’s second exportation – this time from another source – the world’s largest re-export hub.
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Syria $0.5 bn Eighth Gate project in Syria ‘to recreate the luxury and style that are features of Emaar’s world-class Dubai developments.’
Russia $11 bn The Great Domodedovo project is the first offering in Europe in partnership with Russian development company Coalco to develop ‘a fully-fledged and structurally balanced city.’
Turkey $5-10 bn Joint venture Lakeside project outside Istanbul with Turkey’s largest gold exporter. First phase includes luxury villas, shopping centers, commercial space and hotel developments.
India $20 bn Nakheel and Delhibased DLF Group sealed deals for two township projects in India, one near National Capital Region and the other in Maharashtra, along a coastal region.
Saudi Arabia $0.25 bn Saudi development venture with Nakheel seen as part of Dubai’s efforts toward improving pan-Arab business cooperation.
China $2.7 bn Project to establish a presence in China through a mixed use residential and commercial project in Tanggu District, overlooking Tianjin Port. Pakistan $20 bn The 25,000 ha Karachi Waterfront development ‘will be a new Karachi’. The new city will also be home to Special Economic Zones.
Pakistan $2.4 bn Master planned communities in Islamabad and Karachi, including over 14,000 residences, shopping, hotels and amenities.
Malaysia In December 2004, Dr. Mahatir Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia, visited Emaar for a briefing on all major projects. Indonesia ‘New Bali’ multibillion dollar development includes resort and residential development on Lombok island. The project is a joint venture with the Indonesian government of 6,070,000 sq m. Oman $1 bn Salam Resort & Spa Yiti development is the first project under ‘Salam brand’ to be launched by Sama Dubai in Oman.
‘The Dubai Model’… a newly minted term for the empirically perfected development package of financial inspiration and exportation. Its definition has been cultivated mostly by semi-public companies based in Dubai and Qatar: Emaar, Sama Dubai, Nakheel, Limitless, DAMAC, and Qatari Diar. These corporations have established a euphoric construction zone of shopping centers, Mediterranean-style homes and luxury hotels within the largest swath of the globe barely touched by globalism. This once ignored void, not only shunned by investors but also gingerly approached by IMF bankers, can now be listed alongside other world-class luxury destinations. Resorts, second-home villas and greened deserts are now the tell-tales of a new hybrid of money management and foreign policy. Emaar claims that among its built and proposed projects, it will ‘cover’ 1.5 billion people, more than China’s population. – AMO
Oman Working with the Omani Ministry of Toursim to create an eco-tourist resort inspired by the local wildlife and environment.
China Satellite office in Shanghai for pursuit of participation in the Chinese development boom. Also, ‘modern community centric lifestyle developments in Beijing and Shanghai’ including hotels, retail and schools.
India $4 bn Over five locations identified for development of ‘residential, shopping, landscaped gardens, civic facilities.’
Turkey $5 bn Istanbul investments include the $500 mn tallest twin tower project in Europe to begin construction in 2006. Architect is not known.
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Emerging Qatari Diar — Introducing an International Development Agency
Qatar is on the rise in the international real estate development market. As the development arm of the Qatar Investment Authority, Qatari Diar was established in 2004 in response to Qatar’s booming economy. With Lusail, its first and flagship project in Doha, not yet even finished, Qatari Diar is already stretching its influence beyond into Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Eritrea, and Cuba. Leanne Arnold, then the director of marketing, spared a moment at Cityscape to provide more perspective on Qatari Diar’s vision.
What is fascinating about Qatari Diar is that it is taking itself beyond the borders of Qatar before it has finished a project at home. Is there a certain type of company model that you use when going beyond Qatar?
Todd Reisz —
We are backed by the Qatar Investment Authority, which is a government bank of Qatar. Some of our projects or opportunities arise as a result of our direct financial relationships with other countries. The other strategic push has been to focus on emerging markets. So, think about the projects that we’re currently involved in: Cuba, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, and Eritrea. They’re all in emerging markets. We want to reach a critical mass with those projects now. So, from an investment point of view, to balance that investment portfolio, we are now looking to expand to Europe. And we announced last week our intention to bid for the Chelsea Barracks in London. So when real estate investment management funds look at us, they see that emerging markets are high-risk but high-yield. And you can balance that out with more solid investments in Europe. Leanne Arnold —
It seems that the notion of going into emerging markets also makes a certain amount of sense. Why hasn’t it been done before? Why is it now that there seems to be a push to reconsider places that established Western developers have neglected?
I think there’s a certain sense that people here within the Arab world know the area. And within the global real estate boom, there’s a demand for this kind of development. All of these emerging market countries have started to find a new real source of wealth. What do we do with that wealth, if we don’t develop the area? So, that’s really why the emerging markets have come to the fore for real estate development. There might be economic demand for it, or there might also be a demand because of governmental relationships. Khartoum is one example of that. LA —
Could you tell me a bit about the Khartoum project?
I can’t. We’ve just been involved with a feasibility project. It’s a very exciting project. It’s likely to be commercial, residential and tourism. LA —
So all three areas are ones in which Qatari Diar is established.
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And this project was also formed through governmental relationships? TR —
It originated through the advocacy of the government. We are a real estate investment vehicle for Qatar. Since we’re part of a government bank, we were asked to look at the idea, and we decided to do it. LA —
Is there a certain type of development pattern or a system that Qatari Diar implements in other countries? Is there a formula? TR —
I think that we take a standard formula in how we approach development, in terms of market research and business planning. I think the issue for us is to be sensitive culturally in each area. LA —
What does that mean?
For instance, in Morocco, while we might come from the outside, we want it to look like it’s Morocco. It’s about drawing on cultural heritage references. So there are the forts, the Islamic patterns, villas painted white – all have a feeling that fits the area. LA —
But is there something Qatari that’s in Morocco?
The biggest export of Qatari Diar is the notion of communities. Our strongest message is about natural communities, building a precinct. The country has a stronger sense of family. Qatari society orientates itself around the family. It’s an interesting marketing concept…a wider sense of community. LA —
How does that materialize in the projects?
It’s in the way we talk about the projects. It’s in the fact that we visit Morocco; we will have our research done in terms of percentage of the development that is geared towards tourism. We make sure that we’ve got a minimum of locals, residents who will live and work there. It’s about maintaining more of a community. LA —
So you make sure that it doesn’t become only timeshares…
Yes. Some percentage of each development will be maybe timeshares or people’s second homes, but in the larger sense, it will be a development for people who want to live in Morocco. LA —
And does that come from a certain government initiative?
No, I think that it’s something that’s generally happening in the development plans that are being built at the moment. LA —
I’m curious when you talk about ‘community’. I’ve heard it several different times this week, that this is a core characteristic of culture in the Gulf. Is that a positive thing that the region can share with the rest of the world? TR —
All of these emerging market countries have started to find a new real source of wealth. What do we do with that wealth, if we don’t develop the area?
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I think this is a particular quality in Qatar, and there are questions about the future in terms of this. Other countries in the region are suffering from a brain drain. Young people go away to study and don’t come back. Close to 100% come back to Qatar. The reason they come back is they care about their country; they are passionate about their culture. In a world of 24/7 communication, the physical sense is being lost. I think that in parts of the Arab world, it’s not like this.
TR — LA —
Do Qatari Diar’s developments embrace these ideas?
I think that they do.
Could you give an example of a Qatari Diar project that aims to achieve this? TR —
Lusail is planned to house 200,000 residents. We’ve planned for traffic controls, pollution controls, parking, public transport – everything that facilitates community to exist both in the whole and in each part of the development. You have to be able to build community, whereby each section of the city is supported by schools, mosques and other services. So it’s not just about large glass buildings with no amenities around them.
Does Qatari Diar address issues of sustainability?
It depends how you defi ne sustainability. I think it can mean a number of things. For instance, sustainability in growth and development. It’s not just the fi nancial side of things. Are you building for ten years’ time, or are you building something that can’t be sustained in terms of sales. In terms of sustainability being ecologically sensitive … are we going to fundamentally change the way things are done? No. LA —
And where do you see Qatari Diar being in five to ten years?
The Lusail project in Qatar will be completed. I can see that we will have developed a number of our tourism and residential resorts in other parts of the world. Qatari Diar can also be dominant in emerging markets.
Qatari Diar and Sudan Sign Major Development Deal Reuters, October 2, 2006
Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, a major force in global real estate development, has signed a strategic investment agreement with the Sudanese Government which will see the company develop a major tourist and residential resort on the banks of the sweeping Blue Nile in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. The ground-breaking accord was signed in the Qatari capital, Doha, between
Nasser Hassan Al Ansari, Chief Executive Officer of Qatari Diar and Sudanese Minister of Physical Planning & Public Utilities, Abdul Wahab Mohammed Uthman. ‘This is a vote of confidence by Qatari Diar in the future of Sudan and a signal to the world that this country can attract major overseas investment,’ said Al Ansari. ‘The agreement marks the entry of Qatari Diar into the Sudanese market where we are investigating further development opportunities…’
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Lusail development – a family environment fostering multicultural, inclusive community value
Qatari Diar Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Eritrea The Peninsula, January 28, 2007
Doha – The Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment and Development Company and the Government of Eritrea recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to invest, develop and construct several projects of International standard in Dahlak Island (Dahlak Kebir). The MoU was signed by the Minister of Finance, Burhan Ibrei, on behalf of the Eritrean Government and by Eng. Nasser Hassan Al Ansari, CEO, Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment and Development Company.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ibrei said: ‘The depth of relations between the two countries reflects positive mutual interests, continuous endeavor to develop bi-lateral cooperation between the two nations, and the MoU reinforces such efforts and a shared desire to develop investments.’ He said that the agreement lays the foundations for the development of several tourism projects in Eritrea, adding that it reflects the proactive efforts of the Eritrean government to support and enhance the Eritrean economy and investment activities contributing to the nation’s growth on the one hand and encourage direct foreign investments on the other…
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Essay by Natalie Al Shami, Sara Kassa
The Third Expat — A Walk through Deira
Tucked away from Dubai’s modern glass towers is another city-within called Deira, where networks of trade, community, and tourism operate on a parallel economy outside new Dubai. A journey through the streets of Deira by night scratches the surfaces of this hidden city’s vibrancy.
Import Expat 298
Moving inwards through alleyways and arcades, behind towers from the 70s, 80s and 90s that are treated as passé by the new Dubai, your arrival in Deira feels like an accident. There is no monument that declares, ‘You are here.’ But soon the pace draws you in, towards the glimmering yellow, red, and green lights in the distance. Hindi music flows from the interiors of shops, replacing the traffic noise from the main road. The air feels warmer. Flickering lights make everything a blur under the night sky. The pace increases with pedestrians, shoppers, delivery trucks and bicycles, presumably heading toward a destination. It’s difficult to distinguish who is working and who is socializing; everyone seems busy. Street posts showing maps of the area stand deserted amidst the sea of people rushing by: Deira is for those who know. Shops selling printed t-shirts, brightly colored scarves and cheap electronic gadgets stretch over an infi nite labyrinth of paths. You stop to examine one storefront only to be interrupted by a persuasive shopkeeper inviting you into another, or by the voice of an old Emirati woman negotiating the price of silk textile from behind her shimmering gold burgu1. An Indian hammal, having used his wooden cart as a street bench, stands up and gets ready to transport the load of packaged goods stacked impossibly high to somewhere. He makes
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Social scenes in Deiraâ€™s cafeterias.
Hotel signage disappears amidst the cityâ€™s lights and bustling night activity.
his way through the noise of the crowd, moving effortlessly across the busy streets, taking opportune gaps between people, and then disappears into a dimly lit alley. Among a commotion of signage is a half-lit sign for Sina Hotel. The sign marks a walkway that leads to an exterior elevator, which brings you to a sparse room that serves as the lobby. The space is devoid of furniture; its linoleum floors are immaculately clean. There is no apparent clientele, yet the man at reception says there are no available rooms for the coming two months. Outside again, you fi nd groups of Indian and Pakistani men clustered around cafeterias, which were never designed to accommodate their clients, who sit on wooden stools on streets and sidewalks. Styrofoam cups filled with chai are delivered on small trays and drunk by everyone. A television set broadcasts a cricket match. The exterior setting resembles an interior of a family living room. Fittingly, laundry hangs above from windows and balconies to dry. Eager to fi nd a crowd you can associate with, you try a group of Russian
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HOTELS IN DUBAI Unclassified Hotels Admin Boundary Road Center Line Residential
Al Maha Hotel
Al Jazeera Hotel
Residential/Commercial Al Isteqlal Hotel
Al Sheraa Hotel
Hospital Khaibar Hotel
Al Akhlas Hotel
Gold Plaza Hotel
City Gold Hotel
Parks Sandy Areas
Lapaz Hotel Al Aman Hotel
Al Khaima Hotel
Deira Palace Hotel
Al Khail Hotel Al Karnak Hotel
Aras Hotel Prince Stars Hotel Al Jaloos Hotel
Hotel Delhi Darbar Bombay
Al Hilli Hotel Emirates Hotel
Dhiyafa Palace Hotel East Hotel
Al Wehda Hotel New Avon Hotel
Bridge Road Al Wasal Hotel
Al Firdous Hotel
Al Badr Hotel
Al Madani Hotel
Sports & Recreation Brigde Ped. Other Emirates
Sadhana Hotel Sahar Hotel
Al Marwa Hotel
Sweet Palace Hotel Fal Hotel
Date : 05/04/2004
Scale : 1:12500
Map of Dubai shows concentration of unclassified hotels in Deira.
tourists being invited into an incense store by a young Iranian shop keeper. They do not enter, so you decide to continue walking with them only to fi nd yourself before a fur coat store. A whole row of fur stores, in a city whose 50-degree summers make even one too many. Two Russian men sit in the store whose interior fittings do not match the value of the furs; the silence in the interior almost competes with the street noise outside. This time the tourists enter and leave you standing behind. Where hotels and restaurants are classified as ‘unclassified,’ here impressions transcend infrastructure, and where activity defies building, this city is sadly no longer for you.
1. Burgu A burgu’ is an Arabic term that means a long linen veil covering the face, with holes made for the eyes. Old local Emarati women can be seen wearing a stiff golden colored Burgu to cover their face.
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Russian store sells fur coats in a mall in Deira.
Interior view of an alley in Deira reveals the underlying mechanism of services and industries provided by the cityâ€™s inhabitants.
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June 26, 2006 12:15 pm
Our projects are beginning to feel like teflon efforts: we have established enough contact to deliver our work, but almost all our endeavours lack engagement with the local situation. We want to recruit people with knowledge of the UAE and a command of the language. This takes us to the American University of Sharjah. For the first time in all of our trips to the Middle East, we manage to get lost. The campus of the university isn’t hard to fi nd, but once we have passed the main entrance the whole system of way-fi nding breaks down, or rather folds in on itself... Like a religious mantra, each road sign is a mere repetition of the university’s name. We are being guided in all directions: North East South West. It is as though the American University of Sharjah has taken its mission to the extreme in an effort to exude its brand across the globe... 1 pm
We fi nally make it to the architecture department. The building is a large monumental structure built in a neo-classical, vaguely oriental, palace style. Strangely enough the campus’ buildings come almost as a welcome relief after the random exuberance of Dubai, where the technology of the curtain wall now seems exclusively dedicated to creating ever more bizarre forms of high-rise. The architecture department of the University of Sharjah has opted for the full implementation of Robert Venturi’s ‘decorated shed’. Inside the impressive exterior resides an extremely utilitarian interior: exposed steel, concrete and (occasionally) timber are the only materials to serve as backdrop to large rectangular tables with computer screens. Interior design is virtually absent. We instantly feel at home. 1:15 pm
So far in the UAE, we have been able to travel without reputation preceding us; here our entrance provokes a collective stop and stare... The gap between our status in the world of business and the academic world seems to have reached its climax in the Middle East. The architecture department is mainly populated by young women. Architecture, we are told, is not considered an overly serious profession in the Arab world: as a form of design it ranks among the ‘softer’ subjects. Young men are dissuaded from pursuing this subject and encouraged to become engineers. The group of students we meet are all from the Middle East, but also here locals are a small minority. Interesting hybrid backgrounds emerge: Ukranian-Palestinian, TurkishJordanian. Most students we talk to are informed and sharp. By and large they appear to be immune to the stereotypical descriptions of development in the Gulf proclaimed by their (mostly American) teachers. One wonders just in which direction the educational process is being conducted... – RdG
6/6/07 6:59:13 PM
Education Diplomacy The US conquest of educational markets in The Gulf is peaceful. Until 2001, the flow of students from developing countries to the US was rising by about 3.5% every year. But since 9/11, this rate has steadily declined, the fi rst time in over thirty years. Foreign applications to American graduate schools fell by 10% due to increased security controls, the difficulty of obtaining a visa, and the image of America for the rest of the world, especially in the Middle East.1 Countries preparing for a future without oil or natural gas revenues need universities. Having previously imported skilled labor, Gulf Cities now want to nationalize their workforce, especially in anticipation of the rising Arab youth population. This demographic explosion will be either a grave crisis or an innovation boon. Handling centuries-old academic institutions like software platforms, Gulf Cities see no reason not to replicate and modify for the demographic shift. Gulf-builders speak of importing ‘brand-name’ universities, as educational institutions remain the one American product still able to make societal and financial headway without any resistance in the Middle East. Normally, the Gulf City supports the partnership by offering to pay for all buildings, overhead, and staff salaries. As one report states, tuitions ‘go straight into the universities’ coffers back home.’2 Branch campuses – often with the gated security of embassies – will not likely mean a mixing of students internationally (Kuwait’s new campus, however, will separate the sexes). Part of the draw for Middle Easterners is to acquire an American education without the Western societal contract, and for women – who make up at least 65% of The Gulf’s students – this means they can acquire an education while remaining close to home. – AMO 1. www.economist.com 2. Science, April 7, 2006
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‘I can think of no more valuable asset to our country than the friendship of future world leaders who have been educated here.’ Colin Powell, Institute of International Education August 2001
586,700 students from developing countries applied for visas every year to study in the US. Before 2001 After
‘This may well be the beginning of a renaissance of the Arab world that transforms the region from extremism to moderation.’
More than $1.5 billion lost in tuition from foreign students. ‘And we can build more enduring relationships than ‘take a Muslim to lunch’ day.’ John Hughes, a former editor of The Monitor, January 2005
S. Rob Sobhani, adjunct professor at Georgetown University, discussing Education City in Qatar
‘This is a good way for the United States to represent itself overseas, particularly in Arab countries where in the past most of the trade has been in guns and oil.’
Sonja Strohmer, US Satellite Campuses In The Middle East: Cross-cultural Mediators Or Missionary Outposts? www.ostina.org
Antonio Gotto, Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College
‘Less reconcilable with the idea of mutual learning is the fact that the American overseas campuses in Education City do not adapt their programs to their host country.’
‘A policy that limits too many smart people coming to the United States is questionable. The visa issue doesn’t make sense.’ Bill Gates, speaking on a technology panel at the Library of Congress, April 2005
‘… we are expanding the opportunity for a prestigious Sorbonne education… You will study in French, which is the language of many of the most important cultural achievements in world history.’ Jean-Robert Pitte, President Sorbonne Press Kit 2006
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Established academic institutions are converging in The Gulf
2002 Philippines 2006 USA
AMA International University
NYIT Bahrain Business administration, Marketing, Accounting, Management of information systems, Computer science Communications arts Interior design Physical therapy
Computer Science Engineering Informatics Business Informatics International Studies Mechatronics Engineering Business Administration Computer Science
2005 Ireland Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland â€“ Medical University of Bahrain
Medicine Nursing Healthcare management
2000 Netherlands CHN University Qatar International Hospitality Management International Leisure & Tourism Management International Retail Management International Service Management
1998 USA Virginia Commonwealth University Fine Arts in Graphic Design Fine Arts in Fashion Design
Weill Cornell Medical College Fine Arts in Interior Design Pre-medical Program Medical Program M.D. Degree
Carnegie Mellon University
2003 USA 2005 USA Georgetown University Foreign Service program
Business Computer Science
Texas A&M University Chemical Engineering Electrical Engineering Mechanical Engineering Petroleum Engineering
A 2001 USA College of the North Atlantic Qatar
Business Studies Health Sciences Engineering Technology Industrial Trades Information Communications Technology Pre-Nursing programs
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Mahatma Gandhi University
Buisness Coputer Science Fashion Technology Tourism Studies
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Dubai Healthcare Management Quality in Healthcare
2006 UK 2006 France
Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi
University of Wollongong Dubai
Heriot-Watt University’s Dubai Campus Business Administration Mechanical Engineering Construction Management **New** Quantity Surveying **New** Business Administration with Edinburgh Business School **New** Strategic Project Planning Construction Management Petroleum Engineering Oil and Gas Technology Food Science, Safety and Health
2004 USA Harvard Medical School Dubai Center Brings updated medical knowledge, high-impact training, and state-of-theart professional development resources to the physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals of the region.
International Oriental Academy with The St. Petersburg State University of Engineering and Economics
NYIT Abu Dhabi
Business Administration Information Technology Marketing Engineering Management Applied Finance and Banking
2006 Canada Centennial University Of DubaiLiberal Arts and Sciences Business Engineering, Applied Sciences and Technology Environment and Health
Diploams in Engineering, Law, Medicine, etc leading to a Specialist’s Diploma Commerce Management Law Economic Information Systems
Ras Al Khaimah Sharjah
Archeology & Art History French & Comparative Literature Geography & Urban Planning History & Geography Information & Communication Languages & Civilizations Music & Musicology Philosophy & Sociology Intensive French Program
2004 Belgium European University College Brussels Dubai
Business Administration Marketing Management. Finance and Risk Managment. Human Resource Management. Business Information Management Arabic, Asian and European Languages
Abu Dhabi U.A.E.
2005 UK Middlesex University Dubai Accountancy Business Administration Psychology Communication & Media Computing Science Tourism Hospitality Management Publishing
2005 USA George Mason University Pre-Medicine Business Administration Engineering and Information technology
2004 Iran Islamic Azad University Dubai Executive Business Management Computer Enginnering – Software Architecture Engineering Business Management Computer Science
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Palaces for the People
Education Diplomacy 330
Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace revels in a luxurious paradox. It is the most exclusive hotel in the UAE and the most revered public space of Abu Dhabi. Could it be that the Emirates Palace is to Abu Dhabi what the Palast der Republik was to East Berlin – a moment when inordinate sums of luxury symbols are displayed and offered to the most casual of the general public? The porters greet everyone just as cordially as the next visitor and employees have smiles for everyone. The visitors are the ones who cast the discriminating glance toward each other – are you a gawker or a guest? In some ways a palace for the people, Abu Dhabi’s residents bring their guests to show the marvels. Every visitor knows that Abu Dhabi is rich, but the city remains frustratingly modest for the visitor who seeks the overstimulation usually associated with wealth. Emirates Palace is the concentrated fulfi llment of this need. Once seen, one knows how rich Abu Dhabi is. Even if the hotel rooms were affordable, few could stay in its rooms. Part of its luxury is the unmatched ratio between staff and guests – one reason why it is not called a hotel. The complex is a building type of its own. If one approaches the elevator to the rooms above, the staff becomes accordingly more investigative than friendly. An overpriced coffee will have to suffice as one’s chance to ingest luxury. As part of the Emirates Palace public program, it hosted an exhibition detailing the expansion of Abu Dhabi’s display of self-confidence – a project that will move expression from the scale of a palace to that of an island: Saadiyat Island (the Island of Happiness). The emirate caught the world’s attention when a deal was signed with Guggenheim to build a branch on the island and to have Frank O. Gehry design it. It was a significant move, but one more of pattern than innovation. Abu Dhabi superseded global city protocol when it announced the unprecedented – the purchase of name and borrowing rights and a longterm training program from France’s Louvre Museum. Jean Nouvel’s design for the new Louvre / Classical museum can’t seem to garner the attention that the international museum deal made. Architecture remains a vehicle to cultural politics. In addition to the two new museums by Gehry and Nouvel, Zaha Hadid is designing a performance center, and Tadao Ando the maritime museum. The Gensler plan has fully grasped the requirements for this kind of architecture. Like land pinched away from the island, the Saadiyat coast affords each museum its own peninsula so that any context is reduced to still waters and a receded skyline. Museum architecture couldn’t ask for a better siting.
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Gulf Survey AMO
Entry to Culture = Wisdom exhibition
Emirates Palace Lobby
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Booz Allen Hamilton
Methodology of sustaining Saadiyat Island feasibility, Booz Allen Hamilton
Market Analysis > Market size and growth potential > – – –
Consumer behavior: Demographic profi les Decision making process Price sensitivity
> Decision tree mapping visitorsegments and drivers of spend with key element of the cultural center
Initial Baseline > Initial interviews > Review of existing studies and data > Assessment of key hypotheses and model input: – Cultural District scope and quality – Architectural presence / facilities – Overall Saadiyat island tourism objectives
Business Case/ Scenarios
Overall Development Perspective
> Benchmarking framework: identification of key dimensions
> Cost for public authorities: subsidy / investment models
> Extensive set of case examples and comparables: – Museums – Biennales – Theme parks
> – – –
> Incremental cost / benefi t perspective: – Direct, indirect and induced spending – Short term jobs and return potential – Permanent jobs and return potential
Direct revenue streams: Visitor spend Sponsorship Public Funding
> Value generation (direct return, real estate value, ...)
> Annual impact – Direct impact parameters (volume, price, resources,...) – Indirect and induced spending impact (multiplier effect)
> Social impact assessment: – Qualitative perspective (education, ...) – Quantitative perspective (business and cultural institution development, ...)
> Development impact: – Construction and development (hard and soft costs) – Real Estate Uplift
Culture District Master Plan, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
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Guggenheim Museum, Frank O. Gehry
Museum of Classical Art, Jean Nouvel
‘The design of the Guggenheim Museum for Abu Dhabi was driven by the unique relationship between the desert landscape and the site location on the water. The building features central galleries stacked on four floors, around a courtyard. Two rings of gallery spaces radiate from the core which are less formally constructed, allowing for a tremendous amount of fl exibility and variety for displaying art works.’ Architect’s Statement
‘The museum takes the form of a micro-city, along a promenade, covered by a large, light refl ecting dome. The landscape is a microcosm of different desert landscapes from the oasis to the dune, from the pond to the archipelago.’ Architect’s Statement
sq.m 9,474 3,395 513 513 1,500 3,868 10,737
Exhibition Galleries Education Center Retail and Cafe Visitor Services Areas Back of House
8,900 900 1,300 3,400 9,500
Permanent Collection Galleries Special Exhibition Galleries Education Center Theater Retail and Cafe Visitor Services Areas, Gardens and Terraces Back of House
Performing Arts Center, Zaha Hadid
Maritime Museum, Tadao Ando
‘The central axis of Abu Dhabi’s Cultural District is a pedestrian corridor that stretches towards the sea. The sculptural form of the Performing Arts Center emerges from this linear movement, gradually developing into a network of successive branches. As it winds through the site, the architecture increases in complexity, building up height and depth achieving multiple summits in the bodies housing the performance spaces. The building reaches a height of 62 meters and stretches over the length of the Cultural District, creating open views to the sea and skyline of Abu Dhabi.’ Architect’s Statement
‘The building is a unique space carved out from a single volume. The solitary form stands like a gate over a vast water court. Within the ship-like interior, visitors are guided through the exhibition space by ramps and floating decks. To create a visual link with the maritime environment, the musuem features an enormous aquarium, and floating dhows over the voids of the interior.’ Architect’s Statement
Theatres and Concert Halls Institute for Performing Arts and Education Center Congress Center Retail Restaurant and Cafes Visitor Services Areas, Gardens and Terraces Back of House
16,283 3,577 3,849 975 1,766 7,016 18,915
Exhibition Galleries Education Center Theater Retail and Cafe Visitor Services Areas, Gardens and Terraces Back of House
4,400 400 300 550 1,100 3,250
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— Thomas Krens’ vision for Abu Dhabi as a ‘cultural destination’
The Guggenheim has joined forces with Abu Dhabi to make it a cultural destination. Mastermind of the Bilbao phenomenon, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s Director Thomas Krens, reveals the vision for Saadiyat Island – the next big step after Bilbao, and beyond the art biennale.
We saw your exhibition at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi about the Guggenheim’s involvement in cultural development. I wanted to ask you how you saw this project in relation to past projects of the Guggenheim, namely Bilbao. Also, there has been mention of comparing this project to the Venice Biennale – namely that Saadiyat Island could offer what’s next after the biennale concept. I also read in one of the press articles that the objective for Saadiyat Island was to create a cultural destination that people would have to visit more than once. What was meant by that?
R em Koolhaas —
That was an objective that came out of the original discussions with the Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Sultan, that Abu Dhabi strived to become ‘a cultural destination’. That concept had to be defined, because from a certain perspective no major world-class institutions yet existed in Abu Dhabi, the kind that would draw an international tourist audience. The question was: ‘How do you achieve an effective critical mass in terms of a cluster of cultural institutions that could make Abu Dhabi an international cultural center or destination?’ A single building – a Bilbao-type structure – would be irrelevant in this context. The notion for Saadiyat Island was based on several simultaneous and complementary elements. The participation of the Louvre, which was initiated by Sheikh Mohammed and former President Chirac, was a given before the Guggenheim became involved. As was the desire for a performing arts center and for two local museums that reflected local culture – the Sheikh Zayed National Museum and the maritime museum. So Abu Dhabi had commissioned a master plan from Gensler Associates – in 2004, I believe – that organized Saadiyat Island into six districts – one of them a cultural district, which called out for a cluster of cultural institutions and museums – and laid out a road, highway, and services network. This plan was adopted before the Guggenheim became involved. Thomas Krens —
Was this in any way similar to Bilbao in cultural terms?
Bilbao was different from Abu Dhabi in the sense that it had, more or less, a reasonably strong cultural infrastructure before the presence of the Guggenheim. They had good Fine Arts Museum, solid Kunsthalle-type spaces, and they had a commercial gallery network already in place. Bilbao is also within one hour flight time of 40 million people. So the new Guggenheim museum became a cultural symbol, but it was based on the foundation of a larger system. Indeed the Gehry museum was designed to be TK —
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out of proportion and out of scale with what existed; it was designed to be a destination visit in and of itself. But it also developed within an integrated relationship with the existing institutions. This model has been pretty successful. In Abu Dhabi, nothing of this type existed, which the leaders understood. They had already developed a concept for creating a cultural destination beyond a single building or institution. RK —
How did the notion of the art biennales fit into this thinking?
You have to understand that the Guggenheim was a consultant to a developing process. We participated in the discussion that was taking place in Abu Dhabi. We had a long history in this regard. Given our presence and prominence in Venice, we had already spent considerable time on an analysis of the biennale concept. We know that something like 131 art biennales already existed around the world. Some of these are relatively modest one-day events, some have a longer history. But there is none that has a longer history than Venice. If you look at the origins of the biennale concept, you can include São Paolo and Documenta. And then you ask, ‘What works and what doesn’t?’ This was the most logical jumping-off point when considering creating a biennale concept as part of a cultural destination. TK —
How is Venice a model for a fresh biennale concept?
The collection of national pavilions in the Park [Giardini] at the Venice Biennale is really the snapshot of what the world was like in the 1930s – maybe thirty to forty national pavilions. There are almost 200 countries in the world, many of which – such as China, India, etc. – are still not represented by a permanent pavilion presence at the Venice Biennale. So, the thinking was that Abu Dhabi had to improve that situation by discarding the national pavilion model in favor of a more global, curatorially driven one. Another important concept was that an effective biennale had to have a critical mass of space, and that the pavilions that were built could ideally be used continuously throughout the year for a variety of purposes including educational and commercial activities. I think that the overall Venice Biennale space is around 50,000 square meters. In Abu Dhabi that was a point of departure. I believe that the plans for a new Biennale Park include around 65,000 square meters of exhibition space in 19 pavilions. These pavilions vary in size, from 2,000 square meters to 10,000 square meters – all of them different spaces. And each pavilion would have two faces: one that connects the pavilions together around a canal; and another that is urban and that engages the commercial development defi ning Saadiyat Island. Of course, there are similar program parameters: namely, on one floor, easy access to move things in and out, load capacity that would allow fairly large works. Abu Dhabi could envision very loosely a biennale that, instead of inviting nations to do their own pavilions, could invite a varied cohort of curators representing a wide range of geographies and intellectual ideas, whose projects taken together, would inevitably cover the contemporary cultural moment more effectively.
RK — TK —
RK — I take it that this concept is something that you developed, and that you selected the architects.
Not at all. The Guggenheim as an architectural consultant supplied
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were theirs. We are not involved in the plans for the biennale, only for the Guggenheim Museum. RK —
Can you amplify the concept of the cultural destination?
Again, this thinking was already underway by the Abu Dhabi planners when the Guggenheim became involved. We were both a source of ideas and a foil for ideas. I consider a cultural destination a place that would, at the very least, command the attention of a fairly significant cross-section of the global audience for contemporary culture. For Abu Dhabi to be a success as a cultural destination, it would have to have a major league status within the cultural/art world. The more each component, element, or institution is independently successful, the more likely they could create a destination. A critical part of this is also the network of infrastructure that was being planned for the greater Abu Dhabi. Roads, highways, airports were being planned that could service such a cultural destination. Hotels and accommodation facilities were hugely important. The Abu Dhabi Tourist Authority was the mastermind. Clearly their plans for Saadiyat Island include a fairly significant number of hotels that dramatically increase the capacity of the city to provide the services to anticipate these things on a larger scale. This is also joined with their notion about stressing education as well as culture in the long-term planning for the city. They already had signed an agreement with the Sorbonne. Yale University was discussing whether to bring a graduate program there. There are also significant health organizations – the Cleveland Clinic is setting up a hospital there. All of this was underway before the Guggenheim became involved. So, Saadiyat is currently a culture-based, knowledge-based, environmentally conscious large-scale urban development that will become a major tourist destination. Another key objective is to take advantage of this rather extraordinary coastline, the beaches. The weather, if you like warm weather … I’ve always found the climate quite delightful. TK —
We, too. It’s incredible, the weather. It seems you could have two scenarios. One is that for every Guggenheim that is not on Fifth Avenue, Frank Gehry is the architect. And then there is the scenario where you would experiment with that. Why did you ask Frank again to do it?
TK — You are forgetting about the Guggenheim-Hermitage in Las Vegas designed by Rem Koolhass. You know that I have a very close working relationship with Frank. In the end it wasn’t me who chose Frank. Sheikh Mohammed wanted Frank for the project. And I was in the comfortable position of welcoming that opportunity. Perhaps we might have steered more towards diversity within a Guggenheim network, but there was a very strong commitment among the Abu Dhabi leadership to what Frank Gehry could do, so I could hardly disagree. Frank is a genius and he is perfect for the site.
Are you planning something similar to be realized anywhere else in the world … that you can talk about publicly?
There is another concept we are looking at for New York that is very new. I can’t really talk about it now. I have for some time been thinking about another kind of museum space and museum structure. It’s constituted in a fundamentally different way than the model of classic, encyclopedic, chronological museum … and it has an architecture that privileges some very specific objectives of efficiency and scale.
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January 31, 2007 The desert looks surprisingly green. Some of the valleys even begin to show a strange resemblance to the luscious greens on the omnipresent billboards of future urban quarters. At times, with the right angle, one could completely lose the idea one is in the desert. At regular intervals, empty bottles and paper wraps – the leftovers of picnics? – litter the thin crust of green. We are told that this is the result of an uninterrupted two-week period of rain during the beginning of January. The morning edition of Gulf News features a long article on climate change and who would stand to gain or lose from it. This emirate appears to be amongst the winners. But, as we drive on and the valleys continue to green, a strange feeling of discomfort enters our minds. It has been more than four months now since we encountered our mysterious Russian professor; meanwhile, what advanced state could his experiments have reached? – RdG
Gulf Survey AMO 337
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