Aldar and UAEU Celebrate Winners of First Student Design Competition
Aldar Properties PJSC (‘Aldar’) and the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) today celebrated the winning team of their first student design competition, following a collaboration between the two entities. The award ceremony was held at UAEU’s campus in Al Ain with the attendance of Bayan Al Hosani – Executive Director, People & Performance at Aldar Properties, and Ghaleb Ali Alhadrami, UAEU Provost.
The competition was open to all students enrolled in UAEU's Housing and Urban Design course. Participants received a challenge to develop Al Nagfa – a sizeable vacant land parcel within the Al Sanaiya industrial area of Al Ain. Al Nagfa’s size and position make it an asset with strong potential to become a prominent landmark with hilltop views overlooking Al Ain. As part of the competition, Aldar hosted a workshop at its headquarters where project managers and master planners provided guidance and direction to students to support the development of their design plans and oversee their progress.
After careful joint assessment from Aldar’s judging panel and the course instructor Dr. Sahera Bleibleh, Meera Al Dhaheri, Al Yaziya Al Nuaimi, Aysha Al Sheebani and Fatema Al Zaabi were selected as the winning team for their unique and distinctive design plan. The four winners received a cash prize and will be undertaking internships at Aldar, where they will have the chance to meet and work with designers, consultants and leading industry experts. Aldar will also study different ways to integrate and execute the ideas and concepts from all the submissions into the development.
Talal Al Dhiyebi, Chief Executive, Aldar Properties, said: “The calibre of innovation and creativity of the submissions we received was remarkable. This is a testament to the capabilities these young designers have and the great ambitions they carry to shape and enhance the UAE’s urban fabric. It also shows how successful partnerships can lead to great impact and unleash potentials. We are proud to have been part of the process of developing these young talents and putting their skills to the test through working on real life projects. We look forward to further expanding the programme with UAE University to empower, engage and enable our future generations.”
UAE University Provost, Prof. Ghaleb Ali Alhadrami, said: “Based on the established collaboration and the signed MOU, UAEU has with Aldar, the competition has concluded with a real example of successful collaborative outcomes and that encourages collaborations with the industry and the private sector. This MOU with Aldar is an example of such collaboration. Four groups of 17 female students developed 4 alternative proposals, through the housing and urban design course in Spring 2019, for the Urban Development of Al Nagfa, Al Ain. This contribution opens a new door towards community-based learning and real opportunity to students not only to enhance their skills through working on real life projects, but also to prepare them for the professional paths.”
The UAEU faculty member in Architectural Engineering Department, Dr. Sahera Bleibleh, who taught the housing and Urban Design course and supervised the student proposals in Spring 2018, said: “This competition is a successful example of Community Engaged Learning. Considering the Housing and Urban Design course scope of work, it has motivated the Architectural Engineering students in exploring prospects and solving a complex and challenging urban site. Moreover, this course has opened their eyes not only on the physical aspects of planning but also on the significance of including the community needs in urban design and development. This is very important to emphasize the local identity and social sustainability. In this journey, the students learned how much they can be part of drawing their built environment and the places where we live by listening to memories of yesterday, stories of today, and dreams of tomorrow. The discussion is ongoing to start the implementation plan with Aldar soon.”
Earlier this year, Aldar signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UAEU to work together towards youth empowerment – creating platforms that connect youth in the private and public sector, community engagement – creating areas for collaboration and innovation between the private and public sectors, and research and development – promoting and identifying partnership opportunities between the two organizations that can support and enhance R&D efforts.
Aldar Properties PJSC, is the leading real estate developer in Abu Dhabi, and through its iconic developments, it is one of the most well known in the United Arab Emirates, and wider Middle East region.
From its beginnings in 2005 through to today, Aldar continues to shape and enhance the urban fabric of the UAE’s Capital City in addition to other key areas of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.