Sumaya Dabbagh, principal, Dabbagh Architects, talks to Middle East Architect about the region’s requirements
What do you enjoy most about working in the Middle East?
For any architect, the region’s expansion over the last 10 years has provided a platform to explore the realms of innovation and cutting edge design. As a Saudi architect educated in the UK, the opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of the region has been particularly rewarding. There is an opportunity to bridge the cultural gaps between Middle Eastern sensibilities and Western know-how. Contextual design can form a bridge between modernity and tradition.
What are the most pressing needs for the Middle East building industry?
There is a need for developers and planners to collaborate more so that the city is not left with isolated pockets of individual beautiful developments which do not consider the spaces created in between them. We all need to work together more to provide an urban fabric that creates a coherent city.
Where are the current opportunities in the Middle East?
The change in economic climate has forced a greater consideration of value and even greater focus on quality design and sustainability for projects in the region. In the UAE market, as well as regionally in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, these challenges and opportunities require talented architects to create better and more innovative design.