15 years of experience in different fields including: Green Development, Sustainable Development & Green Economy. In addition to her expertise in developing policies, strategies and regulatory framework in Air Quality, Climate Change Adaptation, Waste & Chemicals Management. Aisha had worked in managing BOOT and PPP projects in Sewerage Infrastructure, Sewage Treatment Plants and Waste Management Projects in addition to managing EPCM firms to ensure that the Construction Environmental and Social Management Plan (CESMP) is implemented in Aluminum Industry and the project construction is executed in an environmental compliance with all applicable standards.
Currently she is the Director of Green Development Department at the Ministry of Climate change and Environment. In this role, she was responsible for developing national green development policies and strategies and regulatory framework for transformation to green economy. Also she is developing the necessary policies for the private sector contribution in green development and monitoring the transformation of country toward green economy.
Aisha had worked as consultant with different professional firms to develop strategies and master plans for water resources management. Aisha is holding a master degree in Project management from the British University in Dubai with and Bachelor Degree in Chemical Engineering from United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain.
In 2002, Ayub was a Trainer in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Recourses, Ras Alkhaimah. He then became an Environmental Researcher from 2005 to 2009 for the Center of Environmental Researches, Emirates Heritage Club.
From 2009, Ayub worked with the Al Ain Municipality. During 2009 to 2012, he was a Project Coordinator. In 2012, he was promoted to become a Pest Control Section Manager. He then became the Head of Pesticides and Pest Control Committee in 2013 until 2015. Since 2014, he is the Head of Parks & Facilities Section.
He is also currently the project manager of landscape maintenance for the western sector of Al Ain city since 2011. He is also involved with preparation of the contract & project documents involved with landscaping. Aside from that, Ayub is an inside trainer in Al Ain Municipality since 2015.
Mr. Val Zillig, AICP has over 20 years of experience in Urban Planning, Real Estate, International Projects, Governance and Development on three continents (North America, Europe and Asia).
Currently, he is the Planning Advisor to the Sharjah Urban Planning Council, a position he assumed in May of 2016. He is currently working on a variety of public realm improvement projects, development of urban development policies and land use plans.
Previously, he was Planning Manager/Advisor with the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) in the United Arab Emirates for over seven years. In this position, he was responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of zoning codes, real estate policy, regulatory laws, redevelopment plans, development manuals and frameworks regarding Urban Planning in the Emirate. Additionally, he was in charge of the creating affordable housing plans, building regulations and other civic improvement projects.
Prior to joining the UPC in November 2008, Mr. Zillig was an Assistant Commissioner with the Department of Planning and Development with the City of Chicago for nearly 8 years. In that position, he oversaw area plan developments, zoning review, financial aid packages, design review and planning for part of the City of Chicago (NW District) with over 800,000 residents and including O’Hare International Airport. Before working for the City of Chicago, he worked on and managed international projects in Chicago, Germany, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
Mr. Zillig has been a guest instructor/lecturer at the Sorbonne University and the American University of Sharjah since 2009, and has held classes and lectures at New York University, American University of Iraq in Sulaymaniah, Greenwich College London and Al Hosn University Abu Dhabi to name a few. He also has been a panelist on many international programs including the American Planning Association Annual Conference, the Urban Land Institute MENA program, New York University Middle East Panel, the World Future Energy Summit & the Bahrain and Iraq Development forums. Additionally, he has been an active adviser on projects for the Municipality of Fujairah-UAE, the Republic of Seychelles and the South Korean government.
His work has taken him to most countries in Middle East and Central Asia. This exposure and experience in over 60 countries from Iran to Uzbekistan and from Syria to Yemen, have given him a unique perspective of the development, real estate markets and urban planning needs of the region.
Mr. Zillig holds an MS in Public Policy/Urban Planning from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA and a BA in Modern Languages from Saint Louis University in Saint Louis, MO, USA.
Geoff is a Senior Associate with AECOM Dubai, currently Public Realm Design Manager for Expo2020.
Over the 24 years in the GCC region Geoff gained a better understanding of the issues concerning the future direction of the region’s landscapes. Over the last 12 years his work, included the landscape strategy for Al Ain, UAE; the landscape strategy for KSA, via MOMRA; the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council Public Realm Design Manual and the Qatar Public Realm Strategy.
Rob has over 25 years’ experience in the Middle East and Asia in the design and management of large scale landscape, urban design and master planning projects. Rob brings a wealth of experience across all sectors, including hospitality, public realm, commercial, retail, residential and infrastructure development, and has been instrumental in establishing new design standards and innovation throughout the region. As a Design Director Rob provides design and project leadership within the Cracknell group of offices and is committed to delivering projects of the highest standards.
Eng. Husain Al Saeedi is the Head of the Standards and Studies Section at Abu Dhabi City Municipality responsible for infrastructure sustainability initiatives.
Prior to this he worked as Head of Irrigation & the SCADA Section within the Municipality, having also worked for 4-years as Project Manager in Execution and Operation & Maintenance Sections of the Parks & Recreational Facilities Division. Eng. Al Saeedi received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic & Computer Engineering. His professional interests focus on SCADA Control Systems and current projects include the ADM SCADA Project, Sustainability initiatives as well as Infrastructure standards and specifications.
Steven grew up in Australia and pursued a career in Urban Planning & Heritage Conservation before embarking on a career in Landscape Architecture. Influenced by his multi-disciplinary background Steven’s work has attempted to promote a more instrumental role for the Landscape as an organizing medium in Urban Planning. His recent work & research seeks to promote the idea of Landscape Urbanism as the future for sustainable urban development in the Middle East and Asia. Steven has experience in all spectrums of the design process including Masterplanning, Conceptual Design to Construction Documentation, Site Supervision. He also has experience in Project Management, Team Management, Business Development, Financial Management and Human Resources.
“Great architecture is true sustainable development, which respects the heritage and the cultural values of the area, implementing lasting social, economic and physical growth and prosperity for generations to come.”
Ala brings a global perspective to all of his work. His influence can be seen around the world though projects in Kuwait, Syria, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Bahrain, Qatar, Lebanon, Algeria, and China, as well as several large-scale projects in the U.S.A Today, he believes a successful project is one that is impacted by local context and heritage. By keeping this in mind, Ala is determined to continuously learn about a client’s business and how architecture can help them achieve their goals. “The possibilities are endless; there is always something new to learn,”
Ala specializes in master planning and urban design, hospitality, healthcare, and entertainment, office, corporate headquarters, mixed use, and transportation projects, as well as, higher education and museum facilities.
Dan is co-founder and Managing Director of Place Dynamix in the Middle East. Since its establishment in the Middle East in seven years it has completed over 70 projects in 12 countries and works with clients including Emaar Properties, Meraas Holding, Dubai Properties, Nshama and Dubai Holding. Their notable projects include City Walk, Dubai Hills Estate, the Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, the park at Dubailand (for Dubai Holding), Town Square and three projects at Expo 2020 - including the UAE’s own Pavillion with Santiago Calatrava. Outside of UAE, Place Dynamix have worked extensively in Qatar, including the co-authoring of the Urban Design Compendium which will encourage better urban design in all its new development. In Mauritius they have master planned a new smart city to take pressure off the capital city and designed numerous other resorts and new residential communities.
Awarded Citation as one of the “50 Most Impactful Green Leaders Globally, 2018” by World Sustainability Congress.
Peter is the Principal Landscape Architect for Khatib &Alami. Peter plays a key role in the Company by bringing a unique approach to environmental design from the detailed urban design of places and spaces to the metropolitan and regional spatial planning scale.
With over 30 years of Australian and International project experience, Peter also brings significant skills in planning, urban design, landscape architect, master planning, sustainability, golf course design, concept architecture as well as marketing, with extensive experience in promoting developments and gaining public acceptance of proposals.
Peter also has developed a unique approach to salt water agronomy, which shows promise for food cultivation and the like.
Landscape Architecture; Sustainability Design; Urban Design; Masterplanning; Urban Planning; Public Space Design; Public Consultation/Facilitation; Resort Design; Golf Course Architecture; Salt Water Agronomy; Design and Construction Management; and Development Conception, Marketing and Management
B. Landscape Architecture,
B. Business (Marketing),
Registered Landscape Architect no.198
With 18 years of Middle East experience, Peter Cottingham is a holistic, creative and innovative Design and design process specialist with a proven track record of high achievement in Master Planning, Urban Design, Architectural and Landscape solutions for the Residential, Office, Leisure, hospitality and entertainment markets.
International Urban Design degree qualified Peter has vast experience delivering integrated development design processes that consider the Business, commercial, practical, cultural and environmental requirements of a design brief, adhere to the principles of Sustainability and Smart City initiatives and create memorable and successful places.
Peter’s past senior roles include Vice President of Development Design at Dubai Holding, overseeing the design management for the Mall of the World Project, the largest retail district in the world, and Head of Urban Design, Planning and Landscape Division at KEO, a multi-national, multi-disciplined design, engineering and Project/Construction management firm where Peter led the design process on a number of large mixed-use and entertainment based projects across the GCC.
Peter has successfully managed the challenges of incorporating new thought leadership in Smart City, Sustainability, and Urban Design Principles into the design process and brings creative leadership and innovation to every project. He is also knowledgeable about creating edutainment, entertainment and leisure attractions using Virtual and Augmented Reality.
Paolo Testolini is a RIBA chartered Architect with more than 15 years of experience in Mixed-use schemes, Retail and Residential led masterplans, he has an Msc in Environmental Design from Cardiff University.
Paolo is originally from Italy, educated in the UK, he has worked in 7 countries and 3 continents including Italy, Greece, Mexico, and China, for the last 2 years he has been based in Dubai heading the design and masterplan team of Woods Bagot.
Under Paolo’s leadership, the masterplan team approaches urban principles to deliver holistic and sustainable design solutions.
Paolo’s ethos is based upon a sensible business case for the proposed mix of uses, ensuring that the development proposals can become reality; from strategy to placemaking .
Paolo’s masterplanning proposals are built on an insight into the way places are related to people, spaces to live, work and entertain. Originally based in the London studio, Paolo led the design team on a high density residential led, mixed use scheme in New Barnet as part of a major regeneration initiative in the Greater London area. The project was designed with a holistic approach to address the wider context connecting the park to the town centre via an extended High Street. It consists of a retail store, community space, community uses and apartments. The team received letters of support from both GLA and CABE and was seen by both as a model example of mixed used development in town centres.
Testolini also collaborates with the Welsh School of architecture in Wales, and the TEC of Monterrey in Mexico as an International speaker in design weeks, conferences and courses. Paolo has specialist knowledge of sustainability issues; particularly green materials biomimicry and eco-friendly design.
Hrvoje is an urban planner and designer, leading Arup's urbanism team in the Middle East. He has been involved in projects ranging from small place-making interventions to city-wide regeneration strategies, and from large greenfield developments to strategic plans in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa.
He is a passionate believer in creating spaces and places for people first and a keen proponent of regeneration, compactness of urban environments and people centred use of technology. He is committed to helping create better urban environments in the Middle East, through challenging accepted norms and nurturing innovation. He combines his professional awareness in urban planning and design with his interest in anthropology, human geography, psychology and history in order to better understand and make the most of their interdependencies.
*Speakers to be confirmed
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