Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
 

CTBUH Executive Director Visits Dubai & Jeddah to Explore Possibility of 2018 Middle East Conference
May 7–16, 2017
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DUBAI & JEDDAH – At the invitation of the Dubai Department of Tourism, CTBUH Executive Director Dr. Antony Wood traveled to Dubai and Jeddah from May 7 to 16 on a fact-finding mission to explore the possibility of holding a CTBUH Conference in the Middle East region in 2018. During his visit, he inspected an array of promising venues, chaired a Steering Committee meeting with local members, and met with various companies in Dubai before traveling to Jeddah to promote the idea of a Middle East conference to possible sponsors there.

The first day of the trip was dedicated to touring potential conference venues, with many impressive candidates for the 2018 event. On Day 2, Dr. Wood chaired a well-attended Steering Committee meeting, hosted by Dubai World Trade Center, which was appropriately held at the top of their eponymously named skyscraper, the first in Dubai, built in 1979. Over 30 CTBUH members in the region participated, nearly a quarter of whom had previously attended the CTBUH’s 8th World Congress held in Dubai in 2008. As such, proposed plans for another conference in the region were received with enthusiasm from all of those in attendance (see full attendance list at the bottom of this page).

CTBUH Executive Director Dr. Antony Wood presents the potential of a CTBUH Middle East Conference in 2018 to the Steering Committee at the top of Dubai's first skyscraper, Dubai World Trade Center, hosted by the building owners.
Also while in Dubai, Antony met with the National Engineering Bureau (NEB)’s CEO, Jamil Jadallah, and Business Development Executive Christian Vasquez before enjoying a fantastic tour of Burj Al Arab. He was later invited to take a 40-minute SeaWings flight over the city, flying past icons such as the world’s tallest tower – the Burj Khalifa.

After Dubai, Dr. Wood traveled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, at the invitation and support of Jeddah Economic Company (JEC), which is currently building the world’s next tallest building – the 1,000-plus-meter Jeddah Tower. He met with JEC CEO and CTBUH Trustee Mounib Hammoud and Director – Head of Sales & Marketing Kareem Itani, who both accompanied him on many of the visits and meetings in Jeddah.

Dr. Wood takes a 40-minute SeaWings flight over Dubai, flying past icons such as the world's tallest tower – the Burj Khalifa.
While in Jeddah, Antony met with CTBUH Trustee Mounib Hammoud, CEO, Jeddah Economic Company (JEC), in his office.
Drone image showing the current construction status (252 meters) of the world's next tallest building – Jeddah Tower.

During his visit, Antony toured the under-construction Golden Tower with the Sales and Marketing Manager for building developer Solidere International, Mohammad Othman, and Kareem Itani, Director – Head of Sales & Marketing, JEC. This was followed by a tour of Bayat Plaza with Hassan Alsabban, Executive Manager, Al Wehda;  Hasan Sheik Dib, Business Development Manager, Afrina; and Thamer Al Meshari, Operations Manager, Sloanes. He then attended a series of additional meetings with the following colleagues: Basel Katmeh, Project Manager, Dar Al-Handasah Shair & Partners; Thomas Mikus, Project Director, EC HarrisMACE Joint Venture; Donald Towey, Cost Manager, Omnium; and Haytham Halaseh, Managing Director, KONE.

During his visit, Dr. Wood toured the under-construction Golden Tower with Mohammad Othman, Sales and Marketing Manager, Solidere International, and Kareem Itani, Director – Head of Sales & Marketing, JEC. Antony also enjoyed a tour of Bayat Plaza with Hassan Alsabban, Executive Manager, Al Wehda;  Hasan Sheik Dib, Business Development Manager, Afrina; and Thamer Al Meshari, Operations Manager, Sloanes.

View of construction progress along the exterior of Bayat Plaza, looking out over Jeddah.

The highlight of the Jeddah experience was a tour of the under-construction Jeddah Tower with Saudi Binladin Group’s Senior Project Director Nabil Batrawi, Projects Coordinator Hani Kabrit, and other colleagues. While touring the site, Antony had the unique experience of traveling to the top of the core, which currently sits at the 56th level at about 250 meters in the air. Even greater still was his unforgettable trip back down to Earth from the top of the under-construction tower, an excursion undertaken via a materials container hoisted by a crane.
Dr. Wood poses alongside Saudi Binladin Group’s Senior Project Director Nabil Batrawi, Projects Coordinator Hani Kabrit, and other colleagues on the current top of the core (level 56) at the under-construction Jeddah Tower.
With a successful trip in the rear-view mirror, the next steps include forging relationships with the companies that made the journey a success and judging the viability of holding the conference in the Middle East in 2018. Until then, the Council can look forward to organizing its 2017 Australia Conference, which will be held from October 30 to November 3 with the theme Connecting the City: People, Density & Infrastructure. Tickets for the upcoming conference can be purchased here.
The group travels down the side of the under-construction Jeddah Tower via a materials container hoisted by a crane.
CTBUH Members in Attendance at the Dubai Steering Committee Meeting:
Yasser Azzazy Senior Structural Engineer ae7
Michael Zabst Projects Director AECOM
Mohamad Kashef CEO & Vice Chancellor ALHOSN University
Peter Pardoe Business Director Arcadis
Jens Fussing Structural Engineer BG&E
Mark Lavery Associate Director BuroHappold
Kenneth Turner Director CallisonRTKL
Dusan Mrdalj Associate Mechanical ChapmanBDSP
Antony Wood Executive Director CTBUH
Samir S. Daoud Chairman & Design Principal Diar Consult
Bashar M. Kassab Director Emaar Properties
Sujatha Manoj Engineering Manager Fugro
Asif Ali Senior Architect GEO
Monesh Aidasani Regional Specification Manager Jotun
Shaun Killa Design Partner Killa Architectural Design
Sona Nambiar Founder & Editor-at-Large Kimiyaa Technologies
Agnes Koltay Façade Consultant Koltay Facades
Imran Khan Country Manager Lindner
Farhad Homayoun Shad Regional Structure Technical Director Meinhardt
Shaukat Ali Regional Director Meinhardt Group
Christian Vasquez Business Development Executive NEB
Daniel Justesen Associate Robert Bird Group
Afaf Burki Senior Marketing Manager Select Group
Greg Sypek Managing Director smay
Abdul Rahim Sabouni CEO Span M Consulting
Ugur Anliatamer Dubai Branch Manager TAV
Christopher Bresloff Associate Thornton Tomasetti
Nasser Turk Regional Manager WATG
Samer Charara Principal Woods Bagot
Dean McGrail Director WSP
Sahil Latheef Senior Architect WSWArchitects