GCC architects were recognized for their achievements at the 5th annual World Architecture Festival (WAF), which was held in Asia’s top convention city, Singapore, earlier this month, reported Dubai-based tourism officials.
Qatar’s AECOM won ‘Future Project of the Year’ with Msheireb – Heart of Doha while Oman’s SSH International won “Future Projects Commercial – Leisure-led Development” for Guntoot Eco-Resort in Oman.
For the first time since its inception in 2008, the World Architecture Festival (WAF), which has previously only been held in Barcelona, was held emerging design hub Singapore.
“Singapore was bestowed with a great honour to host the world’s largest architectural festival and awards competition,” said Mohamed Hafez Marican, Area Director of the Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board. “A multi-cultural and multi-national country in itself, with many architectural accomplishments of its own, Singapore was a prime setting that proudly welcomed design professional from all over the world.
Building on its success as a preferred destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE), Singapore hosted more than 1,800 architects from 60 countries from 3 to 5 October as they competed and showcased their creativity at WAF, with nine entries hailing from the Middle East, two of which were from the UAE. The event took place at Marina Bay Sands, a widely acclaimed design and an architectural icon in its own right.
The 520 entries competing for the WAF awards were shortlisted based on architectural merit; among them were nine innovative projects from the Middle East including Etihad Towers and The Rock Stadium in the UAE, The Valley City in Qatar, King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and A Gateway to Petra in Jordan.
As a MICE destination within the region, Singapore provides event organisers and delegates with a vast spectrum of business and leisure offerings from which they can select to suit their specific needs. These include quality accommodation and dining options, shopping, and signature attractions within an accessible and user friendly city. With the recently opened Gardens by the Bay, the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore and upcoming developments like the world’s first River Safari, visitors can be assured of a meaningful and enriching experience during their stay.
In 2011, Singapore’s MICE industry saw a 46 percent year-on-year growth in the number of key conventions, conferences and tradeshows, which conveyed increased attendance and participation.
Singapore has also maintained its position as the only Asian city in the Top Five Convention Cities in the World, alongside Vienna, Barcelona, Paris and Berlin, since 2006.