The votes have been counted and the following members have been elected to the Gulf Chapter Committee for a term expiring November 2014
Deborah Bentley (Chartered)
Alia Dawood (Student)
Simon Fraser (Chartered)
William Grime (Chartered)
Martin Hay (Chartered)
Nadia Maqbool Al-Lawatiya (Chartered)
I have recently returned to teaching Architecture after 25 years of practising architecture in the UK, the US, Japan and Bahrain. I have been actively involved with the RIBA and establishing its international chapters, helping establish both RIBA New England in 2004 and RIBA Gulf in 2008-9. From 2005-2008 I was one of the international members on the RIBA Council in London.
Last year on moving to Abu Dhabi I was co-opted back onto the RIBA Gulf Committee and have subsequently organised events for local members (and have some more in the pipeline). I believe that with the combination of my experience with the RIBA and my passion for promoting a network for professionals and students I have the skills to continue to create a vibrant centre for the RIBA in Abu Dhabi, as well as contribute to the workings of the RIBA Gulf Committee.
Having lived and studied in London for most of my life, I have inherited an architectural fascination towards the idea of the metropolis. This fascination did not cease to exist when I moved to the UAE a year ago. If one looks far enough beyond the surface, it is clear that Dubai is constantly generating unexpected cultural and social manifestations.
During the last year I have looked at the architects' role more acutely. I began looking at the architects' role in solving problems that are not directly related to architecture itself. I gained a deeper understanding of architecture's potential to act as catalyst for social, cultural and economic change within urban environments. I am particularly attracted to the Gulf region at this point in time, as it will allow me to be part of that process of change.
I am very involved in, charmed and energetic about architecture and specifically its role in the Gulf region. As a student member I would like to be able to share these ideas to help nurture the profile of the profession in the region.
I think we currently have an effective committee and with new members joining from other locations in the Gulf, we have an opportunity to continue to reinforce the RIBA brand throughout the region.
My personal aim would be to encourage lectures & CPD events where the topics are focused and relevant to our professional life in the Middle East.
I am also keen to engage with local Universities and Schools of Architecture as there seems to be a gap between practice and education which could be improved with more closer interaction between the two aspects of the profession.
The RIBA Gulf Chapter could be a powerful force for the good of architecture. I intend vigorously to tackle issues such as RIBA International membership, making chartered membership of the institute available to anyone who is prepared to meet its standards and aspirations - in accordance with the institute's own policies
Martin is a member of the RIBA with 25 years experience in the construction industry. Currently Associate Director for AECOM in Qatar he is responsible for the Architectural Business. Prior to joining AECOM he was Director of Architecture and Business Group Manager for GHD Qatar. His roles have included all aspects of architectural practice in both traditional multi-disciplinary environments.
He is a regular speaker at international conferences on sustainable development and from 2009 to 2011 he acted as Head of the Qatar Green Building Council's Technical Committee, helping promote sustainability in Qatar.
Prior to leaving the UK in 2007 Martin spent 20 years in London during which time he held senior positions with Capita Architecture, Broadway Malyan, Devereux and David Morley Architects.
He sees the following as being key issues for Architects in the ME:
Address the marginalisation of small and medium sized business scale architectural practices by large multi-national organisations, particularly in strategic advisory services
Develop and promote the RIBA brand in both established and emerging regions through increased high level stakeholder engagement
Establishment of contract and risk management advisory service for practitioners in the ME
Nadia Maqbool Al-Lawatiya
Nadia Maqbool Al-Lawati is recognised as the first female Omani RIBA Chartered member. Following her university graduation and subsequent acceptance onto the RIBA register, she returned to Oman in 2009 and has since established 23 Degrees North architectural consultancy that employs a small but motivated team of nine people. She is passionate about improving the built environment in the middle east and feels strongly that the RIBA needs to be promoted and recognised for the professional standards and quality of service it represents within the industry. Nadia is already actively involved in a number of related organisations such as the Oman Green Building Council, the Professional Omani Women's Association and the Oman Youth Summit, and is invited as a guest architectural critic within universities located within the Greater Muscat area. Nadia is fluent in Arabic, English and Spanish and feels confident that her experience in founding, organising and promoting the Majestic Muscat Architectural Lecture series has provided her with a valuable skill set that will be beneficial to the RIBA Gulf Chapter Committee.