Abu Dhabi, the Light Capital of the Middle East

Published December 20th, 2006 - 01:11 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Abu Dhabi Municipality have announced the signing of a contract with the Lighting Urban Community International Association (LUCI) of France at a press conference held today in the capital at the Abu Dhabi Municipality Council Chamber.  The press conference was headed by Mr. Abdullah Nasser Al Junaibi, General Manager of the Public Services Sector with guest speakers Mr. Alain Guilhot, a key representative of LUCI. Mr. Guilhot, considered as the founding father of public lighting strategies and one of the primary initiators of the LUCI Association. He is also the President of Architecture Lumière, the company which has been organizing Lyon’s Light Festival since 1989 in addition to illuminating the Eiffel Tower, the giant Malaysian Towers and the Shanghai Tower. Architecture Lumière is a subsidiary of the giant Citelum Company, which manages close to 2 million points of light in 25 countries.


The accession contract was signed at the official opening of the annual Festival of Light in Lyon, France. By that, Abu Dhabi has now become the first capital in the Middle East and Gulf to join the Association, which was established in 2002 with over 70 of the world's largest cities and capitals, including Paris, Montreal, Hamburg, Geneva and Shanghai, as members. The Lighting Urban Community International Association is behind the implementation of the rules and regulations pertaining to the public lighting of buildings, roads and cities in their entirety. The Association aims at weaving a network of light cities around the world to compare and exchange experience and information in collaboration with world renowned engineers and designers. Member cities also work alongside numerous universities across the globe as well as major consultancy firms.


A delegation from the Abu Dhabi Municipality left to France in December 2006 to attend the Festivals in Lyon and sign the Lighting Urban Community International’s accession contract. The delegation’s mission also included studying proposals aiming at developing the cultural aspect of Abu Dhabi’s aesthetic appearance and commencing preparations that would truly transform Abu Dhabi into the light capital of the Middle East. During an inspection tour, the Abu Dhabi Municipality delegation expressed content with the lighting situation in Paris and Lyon, hoping Abu Dhabi will become a city of parallel beauty in the shortest time span possible. Engineer Omar El Hashimi, Head of City Image Management Department at the Abu Dhabi Municipality, said: "By joining LUCI, a great opportunity has presented itself to build a bright future for Abu Dhabi. We constantly need to develop strategies that are commensurate with the surge of real estate and construction developments which distinguish our city. This will aid in structuring a new perspective for lighting that fits with our heritage and culture.” 


Currently under study by the assembly is the possibility of organizing a joint ceremony between the cities of Abu Dhabi and Lyon which will coincide with the annual celebration of LUCI in 2007. The main activities of the ceremony will be held in Lyon, France in unison with the celebration of the National Union of the UAE in December 2007. The Municipality is also considering submitting a request to host one of LUCI’s annual meetings in Abu Dhabi.


The delegation representing the Abu Dhabi Municipality consisted of Eng. Omar Al Hashimi, Mr. Tarek Khoury, Eng. Khaled Al Ansari, and Mr. Ahmad Rami, the representative of Viola Advertising and PR. The delegation’s eventful three-day trip started with a visit to Paris, where the group was received by Mr. Marcel Chamoun, Deputy Director of Citelum for the Middle East and North Africa region. The delegation then went on to meet with the company’s President, Mr. Michel Tesconi, at company headquarters in Paris where a review of the future cooperation between the parties ensued with Mr. Tesconi expressing his desire to offer consultancy proposals for a public lighting scheme for the city of Abu Dhabi. The next stop was the city of Lyon where a reception ceremony welcomed the delegation, which then proceeded to sign the contract that joined Abu Dhabi to LUCI. Present were the Senator and Mayor of Lyon, Mr. Gérard Collomb, the Deputy Mayor of Lyon and Chairman of the Board of Directors of LUCI, Mr. Jean-Michel Daklan, the General Manager of LUCI, Mr. Frédéric Bove, the President and Managing Director of Citelum, Mr. Michel Tesconi, and the President of Architecture Lumière, Mr. Alain Guilhot. The signing was followed by the opening ceremony of LUCI's annual festival in Lyon, a gala dinner for the event, and a supervisory tour of the celebration’s attractions and special sites.


The last day of the trip entailed a visit to the headquarters of Architecture Lumière where the delegation attended a presentation by Mr. Guilhot on the company’s most outstanding achievements. This was followed by a luncheon with the Mayor of Lyon, Mr. Gérard Collomb, in participation with 45 representatives of LUCI’s member cities. The trip ended with a visit to Philips Corporation to inspect its latest techniques in the field of lighting in the company’s research laboratories (OLAC), dedicated to the study of external lighting applications.

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