Dr Stanislav Shmelev is a director of an Oxford-based sustainability think-tank, Environment Europe, PhD in Economics (2003), LEAD Europe Fellow (2007) and one in top four most promising young economists in the world according to the Handelsblatt Newspaper. Formerly a Senior Researcher at Oxford University, Dr Shmelev has worked as a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Geneva, Paris, Versailles, European University in St Petersburg, Kazakh National University and National University of Colombia and consulted international organizations: UNEP, UNDP, IUCN, OECD. He is an author and editor of 'Ecological Economics: Sustainability in Practice' (2012), 'Sustainability Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Approach' (2012), 'Green Economy Reader' (2017) and ‘Ecosystems’ (2018). Executive Education programme in Ecological Economics he has initiated and run reached out to representatives of 54 countries, including representatives of WWF, IUCN, UNDP, UNEP, ILO, companies and leading universities.
Neil Davidson is a landscape architect and partner of J & L Gibbons and director of Landscape Learn. He trained at Edinburgh College of Art. He has led on projects that include sub-regional strategic plans and urban regeneration frameworks, to public parks and higher education projects. He is currently commissioned on a broad range of projects concerning heritage significance, green infrastructure, healthy living and urban regeneration including the fringes of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to the design of the new Museum of London. Collaborative working is core to his approach to developing meaningful landscapes through a deliberative planning process, of research and engagement.
He is a founder of Urban Mind a cross-disciplinary project investigating how the urban environment affects mental wellbeing. Neil maintains strong links with education. He led a diploma unit at the Architectural Association and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Cambridge, CASS and Edinburgh College of Art and has lectured internationally. Neil is a Built Environment Expert for CABE at the Design Council, a member of the Lewisham Design Review Panel and a trustee of the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve Trust.
Dr. Hanan Aljabri is an Omani architect, urban designer and planner. Graduated with bachelor in Architectural Engineering from Bahrain University in 2001. In 2002, joined Muscat Municipality as an Architect then as Head of Architectural Section in Central Design Directorate. In 2009, she conducted her MsC in Urban and Regional Planning followed by PhD in liveable open spaces, both from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Then she return to Muscat Municipality as Senior Specialist of Architectural Studies. Later in 2017, she was assigned as Assistant Director of Strategic Planning Directorate. In early, 2019 Aljabri designate as Director of Strategic Planning Directorate. Aljabri genuine interest is in planning and urban designing places for people to live, work, play, enjoy and festive.
Fawaz is the Senior Head of Master Planning at Jeddah Economic Company, with responsibility to oversee the urban planning and design activities, including, the Smart City program, and other initiatives related to Jeddah Economic City development.
He has over 20 years of practical experience which allowed him to obtain a diverse range of skills in his varied design, planning, leadership, management and supervision roles. He was trained as an architect and urban planner, and has worked in both public and private sectors, which gave him the insight and the know-how to bridge the gap between them.
Fawaz holds a B.S. Degree in Architecture from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Mineral, and a Master’s Degree from University of Cincinnati, USA, in Community Planning with a focus on Economic Development and Urban Design.
He is a frequent keynote speaker on topics including Smart Cities, Future Mega Projects, Entertainment, and Urbanism & Happiness.
Khalil Odeh Shalan, Senior Vice President – Operations & Facility, has 3 decades of experience in Management, Construction and Operations industry; commencing with hands-on roles that have developed across the commercial, residential, retail and industrial sectors.
As Head of Operations and Facility Department in Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), Engr. Khalil is responsible for all operations including facility services across the company, stakeholders and DSO community. Under his leadership, the dept. received LEED platinum certificate from USGBC, ISO50001 -Energy Management systems, Emirates energy award, DQG (Dubai Quality Group), MEWAR and many prestigious awards.
Engr. Khalil holds the Bachelors in Architecture from Texas A&M University. He is an active member of MEFMA and has presented at several conferences across the region.
From environmental researcher in 2005 to the coordinator of recreational parks in 2009 and finally to the head of the section from 2010 to the present, during the last ten years I sought to develop myself first and understanding the work of landscape projects to start communicating with companies and agencies to follow best practices and attend conferences to search for new In projects for gardens and parks. In order to convey this experience and knowledge, I applied for the Certified Trainer Certificate in the Foundation & project management certificate. Currently, in addition to the Head of the Department, I manages maintenance contracts projects for gardens and open areas with challenges and finding appropriate solutions.
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.
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.
Joe Betulius is Vice President of Marketing for Profile Products LLC in the USA. He graduated from Purdue University with an Agriculture Economics degree. Betulius has worked in the golf, sports and landscape industry since 1981. With a solid background in soils, Betulius has taught many seminars and is a consultant for the National Football league, Major League Baseball and the American Society of Golf Course Architects. Betulius has travelled extensively internationally and has a passion for using local native soils in projects. Many local soils are not ideal growing mediums, but through detailed analysis and modification, they can become suitable for establishing sustainable vegetation.
André van Heerden is a native South African with more than 20 years’ experience in business management. Andre joined Cape Reed International in 2005 as Managing Partner and General Manager for the UAE and Middle East. Over the past fourteen years he has led the company from strength to strength in the region.
In 2017 Andre accepted the role of Managing Director for Europe and Middle East Operations, responsible for strategically managing the international operations and business development of Cape Reed International. He is a well-respected and highly efficient management professional with experience in operational management and business development.
He has a proven track record of continuously evaluating and implementing new business processes to increase profitability while maximising quality and customer satisfaction. His skills in planning and managing essential business activities have made him a key figure in the success of Cape Reed, and he endeavours to continue leading the company through further expansion internationally.
Van Heerden’s main objective is to ensure that Cape Reed International becomes the world leader in the design, supply and installation of high-quality eco-friendly structures using natural sustainable materials.
Rob has more than 15 years’ experience with Dynamo Playgrounds in the commercial playground equipment industry. Often commenting that he is a ‘professional at play’, he has had extensive involvement in the design of innovative playground equipment and transformative playspaces, which both have incredible positive impacts on the communities with which he has been privileged to work.
While leading Dynamo’s extensive safety and product testing programs, Rob is also a long serving supporter of safe play across the industry. Contributing through positions on the ASTM and CSA working groups for playground safety regulations, both IPEMA’s Equipment Certification Committee & Board of Directors, and the NRPA Play Area Advisory Panel, Rob is at the heart of progress for safe and well-designed playspaces.
Rob is a passionate crusader about the many benefits of good play, and the life-long impact that better play experiences can have on the children and families of communities globally.
Jure Šumi has for the past 20 years been involved in the international market & business development holding senior positions in well-established multinational companies.
Currently, he holds a position of Business Development Director at company Knauf Insulation. He is leading global business unit Green Solutions focusing on green aspects of Urban Infrastructure including Vegetated Building Envelope, Sustainable (water-saving) Landscaping and Urban Horticulture
He co-holds several patents related to mineral wool products and systems and their application in green infrastructure industry and is a regular guest speaker on national and international events related to green urban infrastructure industry.
Janus Rostock is an architect, urban designer & master planner with +20 years’ experience.
Specializing in holistic design on complex multidisciplinary projects and masterplans, he has proven expertise in a wide variety of projects including the Dubai Opera project and its district, masterplanning, low rise office buildings, high rise residential towers, hotels, education, and transport.
Having received his M. Arch from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, Copenhagen, after having spent a year at l’Ecole d’Architecture de Paris Belleville, Paris, Rostock worked for multi award winning firms Henning Larsen Architects and KHR.
He moved to Dubai and joining Atkins in 2006, where he was part of the team delivering the Dubai Promenade and Cape Town Waterfront masterplan. In 2008 he moved back to Denmark as Associate Design Director to start up Atkins’ Architecture and Design department in Copenhagen.
Following this spell he once again returned to the UAE in 2011 and is now responsible for leading Atkins’ Middle East Architecture and Urban Design team.
His achievements so far include: -
Rostock has accumulated extensive international experience as the lead concept designer on projects and master plans in the U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, India, Azerbaijan, Angola, Kenya, South Africa, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
“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.
Don is a landscape architect with 25+ years of experience in the design of a wide variety of project types and scales including complex urban projects featuring high-quality, innovative public realm design and construction. He is a Licensed Landscape Architect in the USA, a past president of the Rhode Island Chapter of the ASLA and a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute in the U.K.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design, Don spent a year constructing prototypes of experimental earth-sheltered passive solar housing intended to be mass-produced in developing countries. After taking a summer course in Chinese Architecture, City Planning and Garden Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Don settled into ten years of local and regional practice in the USA. During this time, Don also served as an adjunct professor of landscape architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, teaching a course in advance landscape construction.
Don worked off and on for a total of over ten years as a Senior Design Manager, Project Director, and Design Director at Martha Schwartz Partners (MSP), a high-profile international design firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, where his responsibilities encompassed virtually all aspects of professional practice.
After a half year stint with internationally renowned garden designer Luciano Giubillei, Don moved to Shanghai for four years where he was a Landscape Design Director for Watershed and EADG.
Most recently, Don served as Design Director at MSP, where he was responsible for concept generation, design direction, technical guidance, quality assurance, mentoring, and managing the team of 25+ designers in the MSP head office in London.
At Parsons, Don oversees Parsons’ landscape design activities in the Middle East and Africa. As a key member of Parsons’ recently formed Urban Development Studio, Don is responsible for the technical and creative excellence of all landscape design and, in collaboration with the Studio’s architects and master-planners, for directing the growth of the landscape group internationally.
Nicholas is the Sustainability Director for Jacobs in the Middle East, having been in the region since 2006. He has been working in sustainability in the built environment for more than 20 years, on projects ranging from buildings to master plans and infrastructure projects. He considers landscaping to be a vital ingredient in a sustainable city but cautions it must be done right.
Sumaya Dabbagh is the founder of Dabbagh Architects. She is an award winning, Saudi architect educated in the UK with diverse experience in architecture and interior design spanning over 20 years.
Following an education at Bath University under the guidance of the late Peter Smithson and Sir Ted Happold, Dabbagh began her career in London and Paris in the 90’s. Her return to the Gulf region was part of a quest to gain a deeper understanding of her own identity, a unique mix of influences and sensitivity towards both western and middle eastern cultures.
In 2008, Sumaya founded Dabbagh Architects, which is one of the first ten RIBA Chartered Practices in the Gulf region. Her practice has since completed a range of projects in diverse sectors, such as commercial offices, retail, residential, educational, as well as cultural projects. The multi award winning Mleiha Archaeological Centre building has been globally recognised as a significant example of a new emerging approach to Architecture in the UAE. Her practice have since completed the design of Al Ain Museum, a recent addition to their renowned portfolio of sensitive, contextual designs.
Through her work in architecture and design in the Gulf region Dabbagh’s quest to bridge the cultural and gender gaps continues. Dabbagh has participated in a number of conferences to share her design philosophy and approach.
She was an instrumental part of the team who set up the RIBA Gulf chapter in 2009 and is passionate about bringing more awareness to the region on the value of good design. She is the Chair of the RIBA Gulf Chapter.
In October 2017. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Identity Design Awards, as recognition of her contributions to date.
DJ is a senior principal and Managing Partner of ZAS Group of Companies, with over 35 years of experience in managing and designing tall buildings, large scale and complex developments. His creative approach to developments has earned him a reputation of being one of the most credible people in the industry.
Over the last 35 years, he has been associated with several high-profile projects in UAE, Canada, Caribbean Islands, France, Ivory Coast, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Oman, Kurdistan, Iran, Morocco, India and Angola.
Dr. Armin has a PhD. in Architecture and a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Sorbonne University in Paris.
Aaron is a U.K. Chartered Landscape Architect with nineteen years of experience and since 2009 has been based in Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. During this time, he has operated as the Landscape Architecture Leader on some of the Gulf region’s largest, diverse and most prestigious landscape-driven projects, such as Qatar Education City, Doha Grand Park and New Doha Zoo.
Lama is an Architect with 20 years of professional experience in the field of Architecture in the Middle East, of which 10 years are in the Gulf area, covering various building types ranging from hospitality, residential, commercial, educational and mixed-use development projects.
She has been involved in architectural design and detailing and preparation of design reports with a proven track record of delivering signature projects. She has proven her professional design skills for different types of projects through undertaking design development, coordination, team leadership and client relationship. Her responsibilities include leading the team to deliver projects from design concept design to the production of tender documents, including full coordination of drawings and specifications with other disciplines and sub-consultants.
She has extensive knowledge in hotel design and inclusion of full operational solutions. She is involved in design workshop, leading multi-discipline and stakeholders’ coordination to achieve solid construction documentation with special attention to design excellence and construction procedure as well as compliance with local authorities, operator and international standards.
In addition to her responsibilities of handling and delivering projects, her duties encompass team management, staff development, resources and budget management.
Steven Velegrinis is Head of Masterplanning at AECOM Middle East and Africa.
His work has focussed on the multi-disciplinary intersections between urban planning and landscape architecture and he has led design teams since 2003. Over the past 23 years he has practiced in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Gulf. His recent work has included urban design projects such as the Dubai Design District Masterplan, Qatar Science and Technology Park Masterplan, Bogacay Creek Masterplan in Antalya, The Mount Masterplan in Muscat, Le Marais Masterplan in Rabat, Morocco and the Hatta Tourism Masterplan.
Steven has also led the site design and landscape architecture of a series of hospitality projects including the Chedi, Ras Al Hadd, La Ville Hotel and City Walk Residential in Dubai, Kempinski The Wave Muscat and Hakkasan Restaurant in Emirates Towers Dubai. He remains involved in the development of the profession through his speaking engagements and research initiatives which have included speaking at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge University and Universite Paris Sorbonne.
In 2011, Hadeel joined RSP as part of the Design Team and ever since, she has had considerable experience on a wide range of projects covering various architectural sectors such as Residential, Mixed-Use, Educational, Institutional and Hospitality projects. With her vital role of working closely with clients, Hadeel is able to translate their needs and ideas into concrete, creative and innovative architectural solutions which can be implemented based on a rigorous process of feasibility and conceptual design studies.
All throughout the learning process of delivering projects from conception to completion, Hadeel was able to develop a strong visual awareness from various points of the course as well as a keen eye for detail. Coupled with her skillful and passionate approach to design, Hadeel is able to ensure the quality of output delivered to satisfy the client requirements and has developed a strong sense of leadership as she comfortably leads and mentors a team of young designers.
Andrew has more than 20 years of experience in the planning and design of large-scale urban developments in the Middle East, Australia and Europe. As a Principal Urban Planner at GHD from 2007 to 2013, Andrew has worked on some of the Middle East’s most exciting and iconic projects, including the Khalifa Industrial Zone, which GHD masterplanned in 2007. He is currently the Technical Director of Urban Planning & Design at GHD.
Issam has more than 35 years of diverse experience in the GCC region (Kuwait, UAE, Qatar). Issam has been actively design leader for many land mark towers in Dubai. Currently he is the Project Director / Principal Design Architect for M/s National Engineering Bureau (NEB) in Dubai, holding rich portfolio in designing prestigious projects. His varied experience gives a broad project control and leadership. He has many architectural touches / themes for many projects designed by him.
Issam has been ranked no. 40 in the “Power 100 most influential Architects in the Middle East”. With a keen focus on design and design management, Issam has a proven track record of developing high efficiency and cost effective design in architecture and urban planning, his work ranges from residential, commercial, mixed use and hospitality projects all of which possess the qualities that make any type of project successful. Issam is regularly involved in many conferences and roundtable discussion associated with Smartcities, Open Spaces and Sustainability.
Issam is a PhD holder in "Developing Urban Public Squares in the New Sustainable Cities in the UAE — Heriot- Watt University in Scotland"
Phillipa leads the Energy and Sustainable Development Division for AESG, a multi-disciplinary specialist consultancy firm headquartered in Dubai. Phillipa works on both Energy and Sustainability projects, with responsibilities including project management as well as technical consultancy services, in addition to the management of the division. Some of the most rewarding projects Phillipa has been involved in include technical support during the development and implementation of Dubai’s Demand Side Management programs, as well as certification of many prominent green buildings in the region, including the UAE Pavilion at Dubai EXPO 2020. Through her extensive experience, Phillipa has gained a broad and thorough understanding of the sustainability sector, and hopes to continue to apply her knowledge to further the global Sustainable Development Goals.
Dan Bulmer is Managing Director of Place Dynamix, a UAE based placemaking consultancy providing services in landscape architecture, urban design, planning and master planning. As co-founder and Managing Director he has lead the company to completion of around 100 projects in the GCC, Indian Ocean, Asia and Africa. Place Dynamix are currently active designing projects at Expo 2020, Dubai Creek Harbour, Aljada, One Central District and the Dubai Hills Estate where they have developed one of the first natural stormwater managed communities in the country.
Leo has about twenty years of experience in Landscape Architecture design and project management with extensive experience in site selection and analysis, design and planning concepts, presentations, documentation, and supervision. He has managed various types of projects ranging from residential gardens to complex commercial, residential, and public realm landscapes.
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
Boris Fabinski is a Landscape Architect and Environmental Planner with over 15 years of experience in landscape and urban design and environmental planning with a particular focus on integrated and sustainable design solutions.
He joined SSH in July 2016 as Principal Landscape Architect in Dubai and is overlooking the Landscape and Public Realm Design in the MENA region.
Boris was previously managing the design development of landscape and the public realm designs for flagship developments like the “Town Square Dubai” for the Developer Nshama as Director Landscape and the design and construction of public parks, streetscapes and open spaces for the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City as a consultant to the General Managers Office of the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City and its Parks and Recreational Facilities Directorate (PRFD).
Jonathan is a qualified urban planner and an experienced project/ development manager with over 15 years’ experience – 13 in the GCC - possessing an extensive mix of local government and international private sector experience in the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
Jonathan’s areas of expertise embrace all aspects of the development and management of cities and communities including strategic planning, master planning, urban regulation, policy and guidance, delivery and implementation. Jonathan has managed a large number of projects for clients in the public and private sector both in the GCC and the wider Middle East. The projects have had a strong influence on shaping the spatial development of places and outcomes on the ground.
As well as leading technical work, Jonathan’s role also involves the preparation of technical and financial proposals; contract management; planning appeal; development control and community consultation and engagement in order to grow and develop the Middle East and Africa planning business as well as the skills and capabilities across planning, economics and environment team.
Ewa has an impressive international portfolio. An experienced architect with significant skills in the design and procurement processes, Ewa has worked on numerous projects involving concept design, schematic design, planning application submission, detailed design and the delivery of construction documentation. Working in architectural practices around the world, she now directs a large team with a host of disciplines and expertise to realise the design intent and develop effective technical solutions for each project.
With over 15 years of industry experience, Ewa’s notable works include masterplanning, residential, hospitality, commercial, retail, transport, education and mixed-use projects. In the Middle East, she has worked on Bahrain Marina, a 135,000m2 luxury waterfront; The Galleria on Al Maryah Island, part of Abu Dhabi’s Financial Centre offering a wealth of retail and dining experiences; City Walk in Dubai, an iconic landmark of the city; The Beach in Dubai a waterfront destination and Riyadh Park Mall, one of Saudi Arabia’s most exciting lifestyle destinations.
Deema Aburizik is an architect and urban design consultant, who is currently leading master planning design at Arada, a new UAE-based developer with a launch focus on the Emirate of Sharjah.
Prior to joining Arada, Deema led the urban planning and design practice for the UAE at Khatib & Alami, where she worked with major developers such as Dubai Properties Group, Meraas and Majid Al Futtaim Properties. During this time, she worked on high-profile projects that spanned a diverse series of disciplines, including reginal planning, town planning, public realm design, development codes, port planning and wayfinding.
Deema also led the urban planning studies for the implementation of the new street addressing scheme for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and provided advisory services for the Department of Town Planning and Survey in Sharjah on strategic city-wide studies such as urban growth, demand, supply of land and housing.
She has also worked as a Researcher and Analyst at Colliers, and as a Research and Coordination Officer at the Centre for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE) in Amman, where she served as a liaison officer between CSBE and Habitat for Humanity – Jordan.
Deema is currently conducting professional research on public realm design and related policies in the UAE.
Ben is an award-winning masterplanner with 18 years of professional consultancy experience. As a dual qualified urban designer and Chartered Landscape Architect, he has expertise in the visioning, positioning, designing and delivery of iconic masterplanning and major public realm projects. His portfolio includes new island creation, coastal development and waterfront revitalization, design of cities and complex urban environments, and delivery of iconic public realm projects across the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Middle East. Ben is a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute in the UK. He holds a master’s degree in urban design from Oxford Brookes University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK.
Mr. Akram Ogaily received his B.Arch. degree from University of Baghdad in1967 and MSc. Arch. CEM from Bartlett School of Architecture – UCL in 1994.
Akram Ogaily is a professional urban planner and architect with more than 40 years of experience in urban planning, architectural, design and management of complex and mega states projects throughout the Middle East. In 1970 Mr. Al Ogaily founded Archicenter-Iraq and extended his works to Kuwait, in 1973, London 1982 and to Beirut on 1994 incorporated Project management as a significant driver to success of project realization. The firm awarded important states projects through design competitions one of the most popular is the Amiri Diwan Crown
Prince & Prime Ministers Offices in Kuwait on 1982.
Mr. Ogaily Joined Hill International the global leader in project management consultant on February 2003 .He was SVP, Director of the Technical Core Team – (TCT) before he partially retired and become Executive Consultant to the firm. He was in charge of Global developed projects inception studies, planning, design and implementation process procedures providing technical supports and control to major projects across Middle East, North Africa, Europe, the Balkan and the Asia Pacific.
He started in early 2017 lecturing, setting and leading workshops in Iraq associating with the Iraqi and the UK
universities focusing on project developments awareness, knowhow in project and urban planning, design deliverables and management based on understanding process theories, local culture principles and urban environment conditions.
Geoff Sanderson is Senior Associate, Landscape Architecture and Horticulture in his 6th year with AECOM. This is his 26th year in the GCC region and 50th year in practice.
Projects include Emirates Towers, Dubai; Al Raha Beach Master Plan and Landscape Design, Abu Dhabi: Al Ain Landscape Strategy; Expo 2020; Qatar Public Realm Strategy; Saudi (MOMRA) Landscape Guidelines for all KSA municipalities; UAE Exhibit at Beijing Expo 2019; Neom land use plan (KSA); Amaala Enabling Works KSA; The Tower audit, Dubai; Opera District, Dubai; Al Maryah Central Mall, Abu Dhabi.
Geoff’s primary aim is to impart insight to managing an idea, ensuring master plans offer achievable concepts shaped by the reality of utilities and other functions; managing and defending plant needs under pressure from infrastructure and providing clients with a honest vision of the end product.
Geoff’s passions are horticulture, landscape management, humor and writing.
Marlon is an IFLA chartered landscape architect and environmental manager, with 16 years of working experience as a planner, designer and engineer. He built up his portfolio and track-record in the fields of urban planning & design, public realm and landscape architecture, leadership and management in Malaysia, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
Having worked and lived in various cultures and climates, Marlon has been at the helm of a great variety of international and multidisciplinary companies and teams. He has acted in a variety roles as client representative, consultant, entrepeneur, main-contractor, subcontractor, manufacturer and supplier. This gave him the tools & track record to lead and deliver complex projects, throughout the various stages of a project life-cycle.
Rayya joined the Sustainability Team of Buro Happold Dubai in 2013. Prior to this she has worked on sustainable building research and design with various environmental organizations including the United Nations Environmental Department. Rayya’s main area of expertise is resource management and providing strategic integrated resources guidance within the built environment:
informing building and masterplan design for resources reduction and developing walkable places that reduce the dependency on car and vehicle fuel. She has worked on a variety of Middle East and international projects. Rayya provided sustainable design guidance to project scaling from villas, buildings, communities development to master planning. Rayya is also a LEED AP and has led the delivery of LEED projects across the region.
Ian currently works as an Associate with Cracknell co-leading a talented team of landscape architects working on projects across the region. He is a chartered member of the UK Landscape Institute and acts as a mentor for Pathway to Chartership candidates.
Previously he worked as Landscape Consultant with Abu Dhabi City Municipality for 5 years advising on landscape and public realm development, planning and projects. This role involved working with other government entities, developers and consultants within Abu Dhabi on strategic policy, planning and design to assist with the development of a coordinated approach to public realm in Abu Dhabi.
He has 20+ years professional experience, much of which has been spent in the Middle East, particularly the UAE, working at all stages of project design and execution. In the UK he worked with Groundwork, the UK’s leading environmental regeneration charity. He has also worked for several international design and engineering consultancies.
Hrvoje is an experienced and passionate Urban Planner and Designer. He leads Arup’s Urbanism team in the Middle East and is the lead author of the Cities Alive publication on arid cities. He has worked on projects across Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Asia and South America. Working for public and private sector clients alike, he has completed a wide range of projects from strategic frameworks to masterplans down to urban design and place-making projects. He firmly believes in city making that places people at its core and has a keen interest to understand the growing juxtaposition of technology and psychology in cities.
Laila Alawneh, (Urban Planner and Architect) studied at Aalborg University in Denmark and University of the Arts London, where she specialised in tectonic design and Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design. Laila worked in Helsinki, Copenhagen, Amman and Sharjah. Laila is currently based in the UAE working for Arada Developments on Al Jada project, a cutting edge sustainable district in Sharjah.
Laila’s work is distinguished by incorporating Art with Engineering, in an integrated Design Process by bringing multidisciplinary knowledge to the design. For example, by incorporating Light and wind studies, structural analysis, and nevertheless acoustic studies to serve the architectural vision.
Laila is passionate about architecture and urban Planning and tends to provide tectonic solutions that not only comply with functional requirements, but seize to solve the problem of the site by providing sustainable design solutions on a high level of performance.
In 2016 Laila won the 1st prize at the Arboreal Design Competition together with her group member Yliana Christova for their proposal ‘The Leaf’. The cutting edge design attracted attention and was presented at two events in Europe, The Timber Expo in Birmingham and Go2Wood in Copenhagen.
Laila takes on painting for a hobby and her Art has been exhibited and sold in Finland and in Amman at Darat Al Funun.
Shawn is an Urban Designer with a global perspective having worked in New York City, London and Dubai. His focus is on urban residential projects and urban intensification strategies; issues that investigate the evolution of living and working patterns across the next generation within cities. He firmly believes a 21st century urban environment owes us more than the current model provides and he is passionate about discovering ways to evolve it.
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