Dubai thanked for Harvard summit

DUBAI - The Urban Planning and Designing Challenges Conference, organised by Harvard University in the US, concluded yesterday with the participants hailing it as a success and thanking Dubai Municipality and Dubai's Executive Office for sponsoring the event.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 23 Apr 2003, 12:26 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:00 PM

Dr Hashim Sarkis, Professor of Islamic Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, said the city's vibrancy and diversified architectural resources had created an ideal atmosphere for the researchers and intellectuals to study these varieties and learn about their impact from the architectural and planning points of view.

"It was a good opportunity for the participants to know Dubai's experience in this field from very close range and express their opinions about the same in a free and professional way," said Mr Sarkis.

Speaking on the occasion, Engineer Abdullah AbdulRahim, Director of the Planning and Surveying Department, thanked the Harvard University for hosting the conference and choosing Dubai as a topic of discussion this year. "Dubai's characteristic swift development in vast and varied fields has encouraged several researchers and experts to conduct in-depth studies on the city's planning and architectural designs as well as its cultural and historical background and comparing it with the likes of Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai," said Mr AbdulRahim.

"We have certainly benefited from opinions of the experts and viewpoints of the professionals about Dubai. Likewise, students of the Harvard University as well benefitted from the papers presented by experts from Dubai on the city's administration, development, architecture and private investment. They learned how public and private sectors came together to create magic growth in the city within a short span of time," said Mr AbdulRahim.

He noted that the major questions, asked by the participants, were about the land policies of the emirate and their relation with the architectural development.

There were also questions on how Dubai is meeting the needs of future generations which were explained in clear terms, quoting from the Dubai Structural Plan.

The Dubai delegation would meet officials of the Boston, Massachusetts and Harvard universities to discuss future cooperation including organising similar conferences, he commented.

Mr AbdulRahim expressed hope that the GSD students at the university have benefited from the thoughts and ideas presented by the conference's speakers that covered the modernisation, development and the construction boom witnessed by the emirate of Dubai over the past few years.

Hafsa Al Olema, Development Director at the Dubai Executive Office, said: "The selection of Dubai points to the success of the city's ambitious projects and development plans thanks to the determined efforts of both the public and private sectors for the benefit of the society as a whole."

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