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.
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.
Galal Abada is an architect, urbanist, and educator working on a variety of urban issues on the contemporary Arab city. His approach to the urban landscape is based on a place-specific approach in defining urbanism as a continuous interaction between contemporary needs, place attributes, environmental changes, and local cultural values. Dr. Abada is currently a senior design and development advisor for the Madinah Region Development Authority MDA, and an advisor for Humanizing Madinah Program, Saudi Arabia. He is also an associate professor of architecture and urban design at Ain Shams University ASU Cairo (on leave). He was trained at Ain Shams University, (Bachelor and Master of Architecture), the Institute for Housing and Development Studies IHS, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (Post-Graduate Diploma), the School of Architecture Paris-Belleville, France (CEA Studies), and the University of Leuven Belgium (Master of Human Settlements). He received a Dr.-Ing. degree in Architecture and City Design from Stuttgart University, Germany in 1999. He has accomplished numerous design and planning projects, design competitions, specialized studies, consultancy tasks, and jury services in a variety of contexts in Belgium, Germany, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE. He has been the founding director of Historic Cairo Studies and Development Center HCSDC (2000-2005) and a co-founder of the National Organization for Urban Harmony of the Ministry of Culture, Egypt in 2002, and managed its technical and planning activities till 2005. He has been working for several specialized International agencies and organizations including AKTC, UNESCO, GIZ, ICOMOS, DCOMMM, MDA among others. He has organized and has been invited as a keynote speaker in many international conferences and symposia. He has published more than 80 articles, research papers, critical reports and technical reviews in international conferences, refereed journals, and professional magazines. He was a co-editor of Madinah Magazine, a monthly magazine on Architecture, Arts and Design (1998-2002). He has contributed to several publications and books on the Middle Eastern urbanism, Arab contemporary architecture, conservation of historical cities.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Kamelia Zaal, having served as the Creative Director at Al Barari for eight years has branched out again on her own, forming a new Landscape Design studio, Kamelia. After studying landscape garden design at London's renowned Inchbald School of Design, Kamelia returned to Dubai inspired to create intuitive and stylised outdoor living spaces. Shortly thereafter she began her career as a freelance garden designer working on residential villas until she established her own landscape architectural practice, Second Nature, in 2006, working on both large commercial projects and unique residential jobs. Kamelia later formed an association with her family's prestigious property development company, Al Barari, where Second Nature, which became part of Green Works, created the lush botanic surrounds and themed gardens that the address has become recognised for, winning the 2014 International Property Award for Best Residential Landscape Architecture, Best Residential Landscape Architecture Arabia and Best Residential Landscape Architecture Dubai.
Prior to studying landscape design, Zaal worked at the Dubai Economic Department managing the press for Dubai Summer Surprises and the Dubai Shopping Festival. She then took a senior position at Dubai Internet City, after which she was offered the opportunity to work with Dubai Development and Investment Authority. Soon she discovered she wanted to head in a more creative direction and decided to get into garden design.
In 2013, she was featured on the front cover of The UK Garden Design Journal for her work with Al Barari and several other projects. Her work has been included in the Garden Design Up Close book by Emma Reuss featuring the Al Barari Contemporary Garden. She is regularly cited as an expert in the garden landscape industry, having been featured in Inside Out, Garden and Landscape Designers Association Compass magazine, and Landscape Middle East and Pro Landscaper Gulf. In May 2015 Kamelia became the first ever Arab landscape designer to participate at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show winning a silver gilt medal for her garden “The Beauty of Islam”. This year Kamelia won another prestigious Silver Gilt medal at the Gardening World Cup in japan for her garden, The Seal of the Prophets.
In her free time, Zaal goes trekking and mountain climbing for the charity Gulf for Good, having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya and Mount Kinabalu in Borneo. Otherwise every other minute is spent with her son. She has developed a passion for amateur photography over the course of her travels and is greatly involved in charity work. Her goal is to continue HH Sheikh Zayed’s vision to protect and enhance the environment of the UAE and to leave a green legacy for the people of the UAE to enjoy for decades to come.
Chris is an urban design, master planning and landscape architecture practitioner with a global career that spans over 26 25 years. As Senior Principal and MD of InSite, an allied practice of KEO International Consultants, he is responsible for setting the design agenda of the studios as well as overseeing the holistic operations of the interdisciplinary practice.
From large-scale land use and master planning developments to detail landscape designs, Chris has focused on bringing legible form to complex ecological, social and programmatic processes through elegant designs. At InSite, Chris leverages both the talent within his international team as well as the KEO family of disciplines to mould a grounded and dynamic design practice that brings site specific solutions to clients, communities and the challenging environment within which InSite’s portfolio resides.
Chris was previously Senior Vice President and Global Director of Planning at HOK, a member of HOK’s Board of Directors and the Management Board. Throughout his career, he has also taught at leading U.S. and U.K universities. He continues to serve as a visiting critic on design juries and currently lectures at UCL Bartlett.
Nivine is AESG’s Division Head for Environment and Waste. With a combined sustainability and environmental sciences educational background and experience, Nivine’s projects portfolio varies between environmental impact assessment and waste management design studies on numerous projects throughout the region for a variety of industries including commercial, marine and offshore developments, oil & gas, industrial and utilities and infrastructure.
Nivine has also worked on a number of strategic consulting and government advisory projects through her work with the United Nations Development Program. Nivine currently manages a team of ecologists, environmental engineers, certified environmental auditors, GIS planners and environmental modelling experts who deliver an ever-expanding breadth of environmental and waste services.
Neil has worked on several notable projects in the UK and the Middle East across a variety of sectors including retail, leisure, transport, education and masterplanning. Building a broad portfolio and honing his experience on an international scale, Neil has extensive knowledge of the entire design process, from the conceptual design of a development through to its actual construction.
Working on a range of leisure and commercial projects, Neil’s previous experience includes the Jeddah Mall and Towers in KSA, which set the standard for other multipurpose developments in the country; Bahrain Marina, a 135,000m2 prime waterfront home to a five-star hotel, F&B outlets, beach villas and a retail village; City Walk in Dubai, a luxury retail development with premium entertainment and fine dining; and the remodelling of Paddington Station’s interior, London’s famous train station.
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.
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.
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.
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 grown up in the USA, studied at the Architectural Association and worked in NYC, 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 considers housing to be the cornerstone of successful neighborhoods and believes that great urban environments require exceptional housing across the entire socio-economic spectrum. He firmly believes a 21st century urban environments owes us more than the current model provides and he is passionate about discovering ways to evolve it.
*Speakers to be confirmed
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