Speaker List

Zainab Alireza

Senior Urban Designer, AECOM

Zainab Alireza is an Urban Designer in AECOM’s Design, Planning and Economics Department with over ten years’ experience. Holding a Masters in Housing and Urbanism, Zainab has an extensive understanding of the factors influencing good urban design and has a keen interest in developing positive public experiences through urban strategies.

Zainab has experience working on projects at varying scales and location, including long-term spatial visions for mega-city regions, masterplans and urban design strategies for residential, commercial and retail projects..

Zainab has particular experience on Middle Eastern projects, possessing a deep understanding of physical and social influences unique to projects in the region. Most recently, Zainab has played key roles in the Al Rabwa Resettlement Program, the Jeddah Plans 2030 and the Connected Gaza Vision 2050.

Fawaz A. Alharbi

Head of Master Planning - Projects Development, Jeddah Economic Company

Fawaz, has over 17 years of practical experience which allowed him to obtain a diverse range of skills in his varied design, planning, infrastructure leadership and management roles. He was 1st trained as an architect and later as an urban planner, and has worked in both public and private sectors, which gave him the insight and the know-how to deliver.

He works now for one of the leading urban development companies in the region, Jeddah Economic Company. He joined the company back in 2012, this is when Jeddah Economic City was 1st conceived by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin. His challenge was to materialize this complex vision for the city. During this period Fawaz utilized his diverse experience and skills in current international best practice design and planning trends for optimal professional output.

His key role in the company is to manage the planning and design aspects of the development, including, market studies, traffic and environmental impact studies and other related engineering tasks. This also includes all aspects of the design progress of the development and granting authorities’ permits for the project.

He is a frequent keynote speaker on topics ranging from master planning, infrastructure and mega projects.

Fawaz holds a B.S Degree in Architecture from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Mineral and a Master’s Degree in Community Planning and Economic Development from University of Cincinnati.

Amir Habibullah

Landscape Architecture Department, King Abdulaziz University

Amir Habibullah is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Landscape Architecture of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also a faculty member (on academic leave) in the Department of Landscape Architecture of the King Abdul-Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Mr. Habibullah holds a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture (2014) and a minor degree in Heritage Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His research focus is on contemporary Islamic architecture, landscape, and garden history and theory. He is also interested in sustainability as a method to preserve, revitalize, and manage the cultural landscape of Middle Eastern countries. Other interests include landscape technology, water systems, the built environment, and their impact on human health and wellbeing.

Mr. Habibullah contributed to several publications and conference proceedings in the US. He also received several awards for design and academic achievement. Recently, he received the George and Dorothy Fiel Fellowship and Pauline Tilton Kennedy Prize in (2017) from the University of Illinois for his doctoral study.

Before he traveled to the US for his education, Habibullah worked as a landscape designer and project coordinator at the Consultant Office of Eng. Mohamed Jameel Fadul for several years. Later, he worked in the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology project as a landscape architect and contractor under the Saudi Arabia Landscape and Contracting Company. Moreover, Mr. Habibullah collaborated as an independent landscape architect for a number of significant landscape projects in Saudi Arabia, including developing the master plan for AlRudf Regional Park in Taif City.

Dima Attar

Landscape Architect and Urban Designer , Jeddah Economy Company (JEC)

Dima Attar is a Landscape Architect and Urban Designer at Jeddah Economic Company where she is currently working on the team on various landscape projects in the Jeddah Economy City and the Jeddah Tower (world’s tallest tower) development. Her work involves city planning and development, research including landscape proposals of various scale. After obtaining a Diploma in Agricultural Engineering, Dima went on to obtain her degree in Landscape Design and Eco-Management in 2011 from the American University of Beirut before her Masters in Landscape and Urbanism in 2013 from Kingston University in the UK.A graduate of Kingston University, UK where she obtained. Before joining the Jeddah Economy Company, Dimar worked with AECOM as a landscape Architect and Urban designer.



Dr. Galal Abada

Advisor, Madinah Development Authority MDA, Madinah

Galal Abada is an urban design, conservation and planning advisor, consultant and educator. He is currently the advisor for studies, planning and Development for the Madinah Development Authority MDA, Madinah, KSA. He is also an associate professor of architecture and urban design at Ain Shams University in Cairo ASU (on leave).

Dr. Abada was trained at Ain Shams University ASU, the School of Architecture Paris-Belleville, France, and the University of Leuven KUL, Belgium. He received a Ph.D. in City Design and Development from the SI, Stuttgart University in Germany. He is specialized in the linkage between the urbanism, historical, cultural and environmental, institutional development, and its relationship to the multidimensional design activities of various challenges.

Dr. Abada has been leading of outstanding technical contributions to a wide range of multidisciplinary urban development and design projects of various scales; from historical city and development and heritage sites conservation; to urban design and large-scale design and city development projects in Germany and Belgium, the North Africa, Middle East, with long experience in Saudi Arabia and UAE. He published more than 80 articles, research papers, critical reports and technical reviews in international conferences, refereed journals and professional magazines. He also contributed to several books on the Arab contemporary urbanism, conservation of historical cities and heritage sites.

Kamal Ad-Din Shahat

Lead Landscape Architect, Dar Al Riyadh Group

Kamal is a 15 years’ experience in Urban and Landscape architect. Graduate of faculty of Urban and Regional Planning in Cairo-Egypt University and holding a Master’s degree of science in architect from University of Cairo Faculty of engineering.

Kamal had worked on urban design processes, landscape architecture, sustainable development, Business Development, Integrated Design, Upgrading and Rehabilitation of heritages zones, As a part of multidisciplinary working teams for many consultants in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, on various projects that vary from small scale projects to large-scale master plans.

Kamal current role, Lead Landscape architect, working in DAR AlRiyadh –KSA for King Abdullah University of science and technology Housing expansion project with a recreation area, 4 main Parks and integrative street scape in thuwal - Jeddah – KSA and King Abdullah Science and technology Creative landscape in an arid desert environment- water availability. Riyadh-KSA.

Also leading design for AlRimal Gated community project and for the Ministry of Housing projects ranging from just under 50,000 square meters to a site in Arar which is over 6,800,000square meters.

Kamal found out that successful Landscape Architect should consider sustainability, competitively, outdoor thermal comfort, to meet the preferences of locals and to be aligned with the ongoing national ambitions and developments, and that, matching the clients wishes with designer knowledge is the easiest way to get how the design work best.

Mamdouh Al Mirabi

Director of Public Facilities, Makkah Region Development Authority

An architect with over 7 years of professional experience in Architecture, Landscape and Urban Design field including conceptual design, detailed design, working drawings, cost estimations, site supervision, working in government projects preparing bidding's and tender documents for new projects such as military buildings, sport cities, military housing, industrial housing, operating and Maintenance projects, also have been honored to participate in the development of Saudi Arabia’s legislations of land usages and housing.

Worked in private sector with diverse of architectural projects with all forms of building structures, including residential, industrial, commercial, Institutional facilities and special structures such as sport stadiums, commercial, hotels, multi purpose complexes, high-rise towers, tourism facilities, health SPA, resort style development, educational buildings, medical centers and hospitals, new urban and neighborhoods, housing estates, residential and office buildings, etc.

Ahmad El Sherbieny

Irrigation & Landscaping Consultant, Water expert, Zaid Alhussain Group

Dr Mona Helmy

Chair; Architecture Department, ARCH, , Dar Al-Hekma University

Mona Helmy is an architect, urbanist, and educator. She received a Doctoral degree in Architecture and City Planning from Stuttgart University. She holds a Master's degree in Urban Design and a Bachelor of Architecture. Dr. Helmy is an Assistant professor of Architecture and Urbanism at Dar Al-Hekma University (DAHU), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She is the Founding Director of the Architecture Program at DAHU.

Since 2010, she is a research fellow at the Städtebau-Institut “SI” of the University of Stuttgart. The current research studies of Dr. Helmy focus on “Creative Public Space”, “City Imaging and Branding” as well as “City Festivalization and Eventification”.

As a consultant and advisor in urban design, city branding, and Contemporary Arab Gulf urbanism, she has participated in a number of significant planning projects and design studies. She has contributed to a number of publications and conference proceedings on the Arab City, Public Spaces, as well as Residential projects in Germany and urban projects in the Middle East. She is a member of a number of scientific committees in international conferences, symposia, and refereed journals

Fady Khalife

Group Design Director/Managing Director-Europe, Cracknell

Fady is a registered architect with a strong background in strategic planning, urban design and place making for large mixed-use projects. He is proficient in all aspects of landscape architecture and urban design from concept inception through to construction completion, gained from over 22 years' experience in large international practices. Across every commission, Fady is focused on achieving his clients' apsirations through delivering innovative design solutions that push the creative envelope. His attention to detail and strong project management capability ensure that the design solutions are executed in an exemplary manner.

Don Sharp

Director of Landscape Architecture, PARSONS

Don Sharp is a landscape architect with 25+ years of experience in the design of a wide variety of project types and scales including complex urban projects featuring high-quality, innovative public realm design and construction. He is a Licensed Landscape Architect in the USA, a past president of the Rhode Island Chapter of the ASLA and a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute in the U.K. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design, Don spent a year constructing prototypes of experimental earth-sheltered passive solar housing intended to be mass-produced in developing countries. After taking a summer course in Chinese Architecture, City Planning and Garden Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Don settled into ten years of local and regional practice in the USA.  During this time, Don also served as an adjunct professor of landscape architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, teaching a course in advance landscape construction. Don worked off and on for a total of over ten years as a Senior Design Manager, Project Director, and Design Director at Martha Schwartz Partners (MSP), a high-profile international design firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, where his responsibilities encompassed virtually all aspects of professional practice. After a half year stint with internationally renowned garden designer Luciano Giubillei, Don moved to Shanghai for four years where he was a Landscape Design Director for Watershed and EADG. Most recently, Don served as Design Director at MSP, where he was responsible for concept generation, design direction, technical guidance, quality assurance, mentoring, and managing the team of 25+ designers in the MSP head office in London. At Parsons, Don oversees Parsons’ landscape activities in the Middle East and Africa. As a key member of Parsons’ newly formed Land Development & Buildings Division, Don is responsible for the technical and creative excellence of all landscape design and is responsible for developing the landscape group as a whole.

Eyad M. Fadul

Advisor, Vision Realization Office (VRO), Ministry of Hajj and Umra, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Eyad Fadul currently serve as an advisor for the Vision Realization Office (VRO) for the Ministry of Hajj and Umra in the capacity of project manager and consultant. He is responsible for delivering the International Oasis initiative, as part of plans to achieve the National Transformation Program NTP goals, he is a Torch barrier leading urban design, knowledge, financial, marketing and legal consultant’s teams.

Eyad has over 17 years of professional experience in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design fields including project management, in local and international firms such as zuhair fayez partnership, Fluor Arabia and AECOM.

He also taught professional Landscape architecture courses at King Abdul Aziz university, and has experience in CSR field through managing Friend of Jeddah Parks (NGO).

Eyad has a Master's degree, Architecture and Urban Design from College of Fine Arts, Helwan university, Cairo, Egypt.

And a Bachelor's degree, Landscape Architecture from School of environmental design, King AbdulAziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Mervat Shafie

Dean College of Architecture & Design, Effat University Jeddah

Dr. Mervat El-Shafie, Dean of Effat College of Architecture and Design, Effat University, Jeddah. She has been the Chair of Architecture Department in Effat University during 2006-2014. Dr El-Shafie received her Ph.D. in Built-Environment from Lincoln University, New Zealand in 1999. Her thesis entitled “Phenomenology of Built-Environment”. Dr. Mervat is a registered architect, practicing in the field of Architecture and Urban Design more than 35 years, and she has taught Architecture in New Zealand, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia between 1997- 2017. She currently teaches courses in Architecture Design, Landscape Architecture and Research Methods for undergraduate and master students at Effat University. Dr. El-Shafie’s research interests include Architecture studies in relation to philosophy, the interrelationships between people and their land, houses and places, and the processes of globalization and cultural heritage, in addition to research on architecture pedagogy and curriculum development.

Prof. Ahmed Bashir

Manager Business Development and strategy Department, Barari Forest Management

Amed khider Bashir is a professor of plant chemistry. He has more than 100 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals and international conferences and he supervised many M.Sc. and Ph.D. students. He has a vast experience on plants of UAE, as he worked as head of Desert Science Department, United Arab Emirates University and as a project leader he established, with others, Sheikh Zayed Complex for Herbal Medicine. This in addition to his long service with the Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi. He is a Co-author of the book “Guidelines for using native plants in landscaping in UAE” in addition to other books.

Dr. Haitham Taha

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, PlaySaudi

Haitham is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of PlaySaudi Since 2014. He looks over the company over all strategy and strategic partnerships. With Landscape Structures Inc. he saw the opportunity of bringing new touches and life inspiring to the  children in part of the world. It was a total career change that he took the decision to join this business and change his career path. He became involved in Designing and building playgrounds for different requirements. His activities also include Sales & marketing, installation and technical support.  Now PlaySaudi becomes one of the most trusted destinations when it comes to playgrounds and re-creation areas.

Haitham Holds a BSc. In Electronics and Telecom Engineering from the Arab Academy for Science & Technology from Alexandria – Egypt. He earned his Masters and Phd. In 2013 & 2015 from Thompson River University – British Colombia – Canada.