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Wed 18 Jun 2008 10:11 AM

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Architect Awards building steam

Since our last newsletter, there has been a significant development in the lead up to our first annual awards ceremony: Dubai Properties has come onboard as the event sponsor.

Since our last newsletter, there has been a significant development in the lead up to our first annual awards ceremony: Dubai Properties has come onboard as the event sponsor.

Held on October 8, 2008 at Dubai's new Westin Hotel, the Middle East Architect Awards are ITP's opportunity to recognise the community and give back to the industry that has contributed to a very successful magazine.

Our jury panel is equally impressive. In preliminary talks with jury chair Dr. Samia Rab back in November 2007, we both agreed that to be successful, the Middle East Architect Awards needed to celebrate both the technical and artistic sides of the field. We spoke about the role architecture can play in building a city's identity and the importance of preserving that identity for future generations. Moreover, we spoke about highlighting practices that, in spite of HH Sheikh Mohammed's decree, have a demonstrated commitment to working with nature and within the context of the region.

Hisham Youssef of the Architectural Association of the UAE and Ibrahim Jaidah of the Arab Engineering Bureau, alongside Drs. Sadek Owainati, Gisela Loehlein and M Alaa Mandour, shared this vision, which is why they were approached-and accepted-positions on our jury.

It is an esteemed jury and one that will be tasked with the difficult challenge of sifting through what I expect to be a mountain of nominated projects. Nominations are streaming in everyday but, in an effort to remain as objective as possible, a wide variety of projects is necessary. To that end, I urge any/all readers to nominate something from their project portfolio, visit http://www.itp.net/events/meaa/awardnominations.php to do so.

The only thing left to say is thank you. Thank you to Arup (gold sponsor) and now Dubai Properties (platinum sponsor) for your support in helping make the award ceremony as dazzling as it can be. Thank you to the jury members for agreeing to sacrifice their valuable time and energy in creating the most respected and most relevant architectural awards in the region.

Jeffrey Roberts is the editor of Middle East Architect.

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