Msheireb Downtown Doha Sets New Global Standard with the Guinness World Records title™ for the ‘Largest Underground Car Park” in the World

DOHA, 3 June 2024

Msheireb Downtown Doha, Qatar’s pioneering sustainable and smart city district, has clinched the Guinness World Records™ title for the “Largest Underground Car Park” with capacity of 10,017 spaces. The Guinness World Records™ recognition highlights the creative thinking that went into designing Msheireb Downtown Doha to create a sustainable urban district that sets a new benchmark for future smart city projects globally.

Msheireb Downtown Doha was designed for the human scale, which starts from the ground up. Locating car parking and building services underground has allowed the district to keep streets traffic-lite, enabling narrow, pedestrian-friendly walkways. This design improves connectivity across the wider city area, with underground basements extending over the entire district.

“We wanted to reclaim outdoor spaces for the community by removing vehicles from the streets around Msheireb,” said Msheireb Properties CEO Eng. Ali Al Kuwari. “The Guinness World Records™ for the Largest Underground Car Park is a testament to our dedication to creating a sustainable and innovative city district that prioritises the well-being of our community. By locating car parking and building services underground, we enabled architects to design attractive buildings with active façades on all sides.”

With an impressive capacity of 10,017 vehicles spread across six levels, Msheireb Downtown Doha’s underground parking system ensures ample space for residents, tenants, and visitors. The cutting-edge facility boasts an intelligent parking system that guides drivers to available spaces, making the parking experience seamless and hassle-free.

The underground parking system also had a significant impact on building design by removing the need for back service entrances which improved street quality and aesthetic cohesion.

As the flagship project of Msheireb Properties, Msheireb Downtown Doha has been designed to revive the historical downtown area with a new architectural language that is modern yet inspired by traditional Qatari heritage. The district incorporates the latest smart city technology and sustainability features, making it a model for future urban development’s worldwide.

Raafat Tawfik, Guinness World Records™ Official Adjudicator, commented, “We are thrilled to recognise Msheireb Downtown Doha for its outstanding achievement in creating the Largest Underground Car Park. This feat showcases the district’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and enhancing the urban living experience.”

Msheireb Downtown Doha’s underground parking is just one of the many features that make the district a unique and attractive destination. With its pedestrian-friendly streets, diverse mix of residential, commercial, and retail offerings, and cultural attractions such as the Msheireb Museums, the district has become one of Qatar’s go-to destinations for residents and visitors alike.

Msheireb Museums Announces Participation in Major Grant Collaboration with HBKU on QRDI-Funded Digital Citizenship Project

International Museums Day panel discussion explores the role of museums in academic research

Doha, Qatar – 21 May 2024

Msheireb Museums and Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) announced their partnership on a pioneering research project funded by the Qatar Research, Development and Innovation Council (QRDI) to champion responsible digital citizenship and constructive online community engagement. The collaboration was announced to mark this year’s International Museums Day in line with the “Museums for Education and Research” theme that encourages a more conscious, sustainable, and inclusive world.

Msheireb Museums is joining the four-year “Future of Digital Citizenship in Qatar: A Socio-Technical Approach” project, supported by QRDI’s National Priorities Research Programme-Cluster (NPRP-C), as part of its commitment to preserve and promote cultural heritage while addressing the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.

Abdulla Al Naama, General Manager of Msheireb Museums, said, “As a vanguard institution committed to documenting and advancing societal progress, Msheireb Museums is honoured to join forces with a consortium of leading researchers and innovators to showcase the wealth of knowledge museums have to offer. It is apt for our collaboration to come on the heels of International Museum Day as we rethink how knowledge and education can be shared – a topic explored by ICOM during this year’s International Museums Day.”

The research project, titled ‘The Future of Digital Citizenship in Qatar: A Socio-Technical Approach,’ brings together 10 national and international entities from academia and industry, led by Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU). IT encompasses six sub-projects focused on synthesising social media discourse, developing web-based tools, creating educational resources, and investigating digital literacy and well-being, gender equality, social inclusion, and behavior-based approaches to online security. Final research findings will be used to enhance the digital experience for users in the Arab world and GCC area through a focus on diversity and inclusion.

The six sub-projects are:
− MARSAD Social Media Observatory, led by Dr. Wajdi Zaghouani, HBKU.
− Digital Critical Literacy & Propaganda Detection, led by Dr. Firoj Alam, HBKU.
− Digital Wellbeing, led by Dr. Raian Ali, HBKU.
− Security and Safety as Behavior, led by Dr. Khaled Khan, Qatar University.
− Gender Equality and Social Inclusion on Social Media, led by Dr. Osama Halabi, Qatar University.
− Digital Citizenship Ambassador Program, led by Dr. Eddy Borges-Rey, Northwestern University in Qatar.

Msheireb Museums’s Abdulla Al Naama added, “We are eager to facilitate the robust evolution of digital citizenship in Qatar and beyond by leaning into our expertise in cultural heritage, community outreach, and education. Msheireb Museums is offering the researchers access to our heritage houses, collections and exhibitions as a platform to investigate opportunities for public engagements on issues relating to digital citizenship.”

Dr. Raian Ali, Professor in Information and Computing Technology at HBKU and one of the research leads, commented on Msheireb Museums joining the collaboration, “As we navigate the complexities of the digital age, it’s imperative to elevate our understanding and engagement with the concept of digital citizenship. We are grateful to Msheireb Museums for serving as platform for this important research cluster. As a narrative museum, filled with thoughtful digital exhibits, Msheireb Museums offers a dynamic backdrop for exploring this crucial topic.”

Situated in Msheireb Downtown Doha and developed by Msheireb Properties, Msheireb Museums offer a compelling narrative of Qatar’s evolution in the context of the country’s oldest city center. Comprising Bin Jelmood House, Radwani House, Company House, and Mohammed Bin Jassim House, the museums serve as a repository of social history, documenting and promoting societal and cultural progress.

Shedding light on common human heritage and cultural diversity has become the hallmark of Msheireb Museums. One of its heritage house sites, Bin Jelmood House, pays tribute to and acknowledges the social, cultural, and economic contribution of formerly enslaved people to the growth of human civilisations.

“This year’s International Museums Day theme, ‘Museums for Education and Research,’ resonates deeply with the core mission of cultural institutions worldwide. It underscores the pivotal role museums play in supporting education through ongoing research and exploration. We whole-heartedly support a future where knowledge knows no bounds with the help of advancements in technology and research practices,” said Dr. Hafiz Al Abdulla, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at Msheireb Properties and ICOM Qatar Board Member.

As Msheireb Museums continues to collaborate on groundbreaking research projects and engage with the community, it remains dedicated to its role as a social history museum that observes, documents, and encourages societal and cultural development in Qatar.

 

Msheireb Properties and Schneider Electric to Explore New Smart City Capabilities at Msheireb Downtown in Doha

DOHA, 18 May 2024

Msheireb Properties, Qatar’s leading sustainable property developer, and Schneider Electric, a global leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore enhancing the smart city capabilities of Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD).

The collaboration will leverage Schneider Electric’s expertise in digital automation and energy management. As part of the agreement, Schneider Electric will conduct a three-month Proof of Concept (POC) project to showcase the capabilities of its Smart City Integration platforms. The POC will explore applications for traffic management, proactive and predictive maintenance of facilities for corporate tenants, predictive analysis for MEP facilities, and corrective decision-making to serve individual residents before complaints arise.

“We are excited to partner with Schneider Electric to further enhance the smart city capabilities of Msheireb Downtown Doha. Urban environments are some of the biggest drivers of energy consumption and carbon emissions globally, a trend that is only expected to grow in the coming decades,” said Eng. Ali Al Kuwari, CEO of Msheireb Properties. “This collaboration aligns with our vision to stay on the cutting edge of tech innovation and adoption of sustainable, energy-saving solutions that use data analytics and artificial intelligence to provide a hassle-free and interconnected experience for our visitors and tenants.”

Louie Jarouche, Country Manager, Qatar & Kuwait at Schneider Electric added, “Schneider Electric is committed to making cities and communities to be more innovative and energy-efficient. This enables both living and working spaces to be sustainable, connected and responsive to the needs of its dwellers. We are eager to work with Msheireb Properties to realize the potential of smart city technologies in enhancing wellbeing and creating resilient, and innovative urban environments of the future.”

The collaboration between Msheireb Properties and Schneider Electric is the latest in the real estate developer’s commitment to continuously improve and build upon its sustainable infrastructure in Qatar.

In attendance at the MoU signing ceremony, was Eng. Ali Al Kuwari, CEO, and Eng. Faisal AlMalki, COO of Msheireb Properties along with Manish Pant, Schneider Electric’s Executive Vice President for International Operations and Louie Jarouche, Schneider Electric’s Country Manager, Qatar & Kuwait.

Msheireb Properties Receives Prestigious RoSPA Gold Award for Health and Safety Excellence

DOHA, 12 May 2024

Msheireb Properties announced its RoSPA Gold Award win for outstanding health and safety performance in the real estate sector, marking the second time the company has received this recognition following its 2018 win under the “Construction Sector” category. The recent award highlights Msheireb Properties’ continued commitment to maintaining the highest standards of health and safety practices across its operations.

The RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Health and Safety Awards, the UK’s largest occupational health and safety awards programme, recognise organisations that demonstrate a strong commitment to health and safety management. Run by RoSPA, a non-profit organisation that has been in operation for more than 100 years, the awards programme is one of the most robust of its kind globally. Receiving the RoSPA Gold Award is a testament to Msheireb Properties’ steadfast focus on prioritising the well-being of its employees, stakeholders, and the community.

Eng. Ali Al Kuwari, CEO of Msheireb Properties, expressed his gratitude for the recognition, saying, “We are honoured to receive the RoSPA Gold Award once again. The well-being of our employees, stakeholders, and the community remains our top priority, and this award signals the indelible importance of upholding the highest safety standards across our assets.”

Eng. Faisal AlMalki, COO of Msheireb Properties, detailed strategies the company uses to maintain its safety record, particularly within its flagship project, Msheireb Downtown Doha. “We have made use of the latest technology to ensure the safety of our people and our properties. One example is the newly installed Online Automated Permit Work System, which has been expanded to include events management safety helping reduce human error and streamline logistical operations. This system ensures broad and enhanced visibility and enforcement of safety standards throughout the district.”

Msheireb Properties remains committed to its mission of transforming urban living, improving the overall quality of life, and instilling a culture of safety and well-being for all those who live, work, and visit its properties.

Msheireb Properties and TEFFA AI R evolution Unveil Cutting-Edge Fusion of the Creative Industries in Doha


Doha, Qatar – 6 May 2024

Msheireb Properties today opened the highly-anticipated return of the TEFFA AI R evolution three-day conference, where technology, education, finance, fashion, and art innovators came together to discuss the ongoing paradigm shift in innovation driven by advancements in artificial intelligence. Presented by Msheireb Properties in partnership with TEFFA, the event is happening at M7 in Msheireb Downtown Doha from 6-8 May 2024.

Nestled in the heart of Doha, Msheireb Downtown Doha epitomises sustainable urban regeneration, blending heritage with cutting-edge technology to create a haven for cultural enrichment and sustainable living. TEFFA AI R evolution is already making a name for itself as a gathering where transformative ideas are born, bringing together a community of artists and entrepreneurs dedicated to their realization.

“As Msheireb Properties, we share something very important with TEFFA that defines our community – a spirit that celebrates collaboration and creativity,” said Shaikha Al Sulaiti, Doha Design District Senior Concept Manager, Msheireb Properties. “It’s a testament to the safe and supportive environment we’ve cultivated for creatives from around the world to experiment and innovate.”

This year, the spotlight is on the revolutionary potential of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, particularly within the realms of fashion and design. Through immersive workshops, insights from industry trailblazers, and hands-on experiences, attendees will experience the impact of emerging technologies on education, finance, fashion, and art.

Highlighting regional innovation, TEFFA AI R evolution will also introduce the Middle East’s inaugural Fashathon competition, culminating in the unveiling of groundbreaking AI-powered fashion solutions. Attendees can also step into the bespoke Roblox experience tailored exclusively for Msheireb Downtown Doha.

Attendees can register at: Teffa Events

Msheireb Partners with Metahug to Launch “Msheireb World”, Cultural Exploration Experience on Roblox

Doha, Qatar – 4 May 2024

Msheireb, a pioneer in cultural preservation and innovation, has announced a strategic partnership with Metahug, the visionary gaming studio, to launch an immersive Roblox experience that allows players to explore the richness of Qatari culture. This collaboration is designed to blend education with interactive gaming, showcasing Qatar’s sustainable innovations, creative chops, and deep-rooted traditions. The partnership was launched on the sidelines of the TEFFA event hosted in M7 at Msheireb Downtown Doha.

The Roblox platform will host a series of mini-games, each crafted to highlight a different facet of Qatari life and history. At launch, players will be able to participate in six unique games, starting with ‘Pearl Hunt,’ a game that pays homage to Qatar’s pearl diving heritage.

Msheireb Properties’ ethos was instrumental in realizing this project, combining the ingenuity of the world’s first sustainably regenerated downtown at Msheireb Downtown Doha with the Doha Design District’s ambitions as a creative lab for global design talent.

The Roblox experience will include activities inspired by Msheireb Properties’ vision for human-led design, championed through projects like Msheireb Downtown Doha and the Doha Design District. Activities include designing sustainable fashion inspired by traditional Qatari attire and creating furniture that reflects the region’s architectural elegance. Additional mini-games will educate players about Arabic typography and the history of Bedouin lifestyles, celebrating Qatar’s commitment to sustainability and design.

This partnership not only highlights Msheireb’s dedication to cultural preservation but also aligns with Metahug’s mission of educating through engagement. “By integrating educational elements with the fun and excitement of gaming, we aim to create a more enriching experience that teaches players about the significant cultural heritage of Qatar,” said Shaikha Al Sulaiti, Senior Manager of the Doha Design District, Msheireb Downtown Doha.

Working closely with Lian Pham, co-founder of Metahug, the collaboration leaned into Metahug’s education in gaming expertise through its flagship Play2Learns educational initiative teaching kids to learn without knowing they’re learning.

A series of workshops organized as part of the upcoming TEFA event are set to engage the youth in meaningful ways, helping them understand and appreciate the heritage and future aspirations of Qatar

Msheireb Museums Celebrates Successful 2023/2024 Cruise Season in Partnership with Qatar Tourism

Doha, Qatar – May 2, 2024

Msheireb Museums, in partnership with Qatar Tourism, is proud to announce the successful conclusion of the 2023/2024 cruise season. The season, which ran from October 2023 to April 2024, welcomed a record-breaking 378,000 passengers across 73 vessels, showcasing Qatar’s growing prominence as a global cruise destination.

Throughout the season, Msheireb Museums played a vital role in enhancing visitors’ experiences by offering a glimpse into Qatar’s rich culture and heritage. As part of their partnership with Qatar Tourism & collaboration with the cruise contracted DMCs, Msheireb Museums hosted an average of 8-10 cruise group visits per week since October, introducing visitors to the district’s four heritage houses: Bin Jelmood House, Company House, Radwani House, and Mohammed Bin Jassim House, while visiting Msheireb Downtown Doha.

During these visits, cruise passengers delved into Qatar’s fascinating history and appreciated the district’s modern, eco-friendly design while exploring the area via the district’s eco-friendly trams. The visitors’ experiences were further enriched by the coinciding events, such as the Asian Cup, which showcased Doha’s vibrant culture and hospitality.

Mr. Mohammed Al Yousuf, Acting Manager Operations & Visitor Relations of Msheireb Museums, expressed his enthusiasm for the successful season, stating, “We are thrilled to have been a part of Qatar’s record-breaking 2023/2024 cruise season and to have welcomed so many visitors to Msheireb Museums. Our partnership with Qatar Tourism has been instrumental in showcasing Qatar’s rich heritage and culture to visitors from around the world. It has been a pleasure to witness cruise passengers immersing themselves in the history of our four heritage houses and exploring the modern, eco-friendly design of the district. We are proud to have contributed to the success of this cruise season and look forward to continuing our partnership with Qatar Tourism to provide unparalleled experiences for visitors in the years to come.”

Maryam Saoud, Head of Tourism Product Support Section at Qatar Tourism commented, “The success of the 2023/2024 cruise season is a testament to the collaborative efforts of Qatar Tourism and its partners, such as Msheireb Museums. By providing visitors with unique and immersive experiences that highlight Qatar’s cultural heritage and modern developments, we have solidified Qatar’s position as a must-visit destination for cruise passengers. We look forward to building upon this success and continuing our partnership with Msheireb Museums to showcase the best of Qatar to the world.”

Msheireb Museums’ initiatives during the cruise season, combined with the district’s unique offerings, contributed to the overall success of the season and left a lasting impression on visitors.

As Qatar’s cruise industry continues to thrive, Msheireb Museums remains dedicated to its partnership with Qatar Tourism, working together to provide unforgettable experiences for visitors and showcase the best of Qatar’s heritage to the world.

TEFFA AI R evolution Conference Returns to Msheireb Downtown Doha for its Second Edition Regional-first launches set to bring AI-backed digital fashion and e-gaming experiences to Qatar

Doha, Qatar – 29 April 2024

Following the resounding success of the first-ever Innovation by Design Summit hosted in partnership with Fast Company Middle East, Msheireb Properties announced the return of TEFFA AI R evolution (Technology Education Finance Fashion & Art) for its second edition. Scheduled to take place at various places including M7, Doha Design District and Park Hyatt Hotel in Msheireb Downtown Doha from 6-8 May, TEFFA AI R evolution will be an immersive experience celebrating the convergence of technology, education, finance, fashion, and art.

Eng. Ali Al Kuwari, CEO of Msheireb Properties, expressed enthusiasm about the series of innovative events and conferences taking place in Msheireb Downtown Doha in recent months, saying, “We’ve cemented our status as a vibrant epicenter for premier creative and design-centric events. Our community has evolved into a thriving incubator for ingenuity and cooperation across diverse sectors. We are excited by the influx of creatives and entrepreneurs drawn to Qatar and Msheireb Downtown Doha.”

TEFFA AI R evolution, this year focusing on AI, blockchain, and the business of fashion, will showcase the role technological innovation can play in the future of the design and fashion industries. From workshops by cutting-edge startups like Digital Seamless Fashion to ID Link and insights from global leaders and philanthropists, TEFFA AI R evolution will host thought-provoking panel discussions and hands-on classes on redefining education, revolutionising finance, influencing fashion trends, and reshaping artistic expression. TEFFA AI R evolution has also integrated unique interactive experiences throughout the event, including workshops on upcycling, AI gaming, and the Middle East’s first Fashathon competition.

“We are excited to bring TEFFA AI R evolution back to the vibrant hub of innovation that is Msheireb Downtown Doha,” said Shaika Al Sulaiti, Senior Concept Manager of the Doha Design District, Msheireb Downtown Doha. “This year’s TEFFA will take a deeper look into AI’s ever-evolving landscape, exploring its transformative impact across business, the environment, supply chain, education, and art.”

Breakout regional first launches
TEFFA AI R evolution will feature a series of regional firsts, including the launch of a new AI-powered fashion product by digital fashion innovation company Digital Seamless Fashion. The zbyte grant-backed product , which has been selected to be part of the Microsoft Starter Program, is set to redefine the digital fashion landscape with its modern Fashion AI engine.

Digital Seamless Fashion is also organising the first-ever Fashathon in the Middle East, inviting fashion creators worldwide to participate both online and in person. “The Fashathon is not just an event; it’s a movement towards a more inclusive, sustainable, and innovative fashion future with high impact in the region. We are excited to see the convergence of creativity and technology as designers from various backgrounds come together to shape the future of fashion,” added Shaikha Al Sulaiti.

In another first, Msheireb Properties and visionary gaming studio MetaHug will launch an immersive Roblox educational game that allows players to explore the richness of Qatari culture. Workshops will be organised to allow participants to interact within the platform and learn about the role e-gaming can play in cultural production as well as teach players important lessons relating to culture, design, and sustainability.

A session by Founder & CEO of Thalé Blanc and The Power of Words brand Deborah Sawaf on mental health awareness and empowerment in collaboration with artist Julian Gilliam, known as LOGIK, performing live painting exercises. NYC Sustainable Fashion Week Founder Bridgett Artise will lead daily workshops on re-purposing and redesigning materials. A dynamic mural reflecting the ever-evolving relationship between nature and creativity, envisioned by Dea Baker and created by artist Gabe Weiss, will also be created during TEFFA AI R evolution.

The Fashathon Competition
May 7 and 8 from 5:30 pm
The inaugural Fashathon at TEFFA AI R evolution in Doha is a groundbreaking event for fashion designers and digital creators, which allows participants to create distinctive AI-enabled 3D fashion using a diverse range of templates or their own imported models. Digital Seamless Fashion’s AI Fabric generator can be applied to enhance these creations. Awards include an Apple Vision Pro for the best creation.

Build Msheireb World on Roblox
May 7 and 8 from 4:30 pm
A series of workshops organised as part of the upcoming TEFFA AI R evolution event are set to engage the youth in meaningful ways, helping them understand and appreciate the heritage and future aspirations of Qatar.

Emotional Intelligence Using the Power of Words
May 6, 7 and 8 from 3.00 pm
Founder & CEO of Thalé Blanc and The Power of Words brand Deborah Sawaf will run a workshop on mental health awareness and empowerment, while Julian Gilliam, who goes by the moniker LOGIK, will perform live painting exercises.

Upcycling Fashion
May 7, 8 and 9 from 5:00 pm
NYC Sustainable Fashion Week Founder Bridget Artise will lead daily workshops on re-purposing and redesigning materials to create various items throughout TEFFA AI R evolution.

Elysium Garden Nature in Art Mural
Throughout the three-day event
A dynamic mural reflecting the ever-evolving relationship between nature and creativity envisioned by Dea Baker and created by artist Gabe Weiss. In this creative workshop concept, participants will have the opportunity to transform waste from nature into wall murals. The canvas wall will be divided into dedicated spaces, each allocated to both art students and established artists for an agreed-upon period.

Tickets can be purchased online: Teffa Events

Msheireb Award for Innovation in Design Launched

Inaugural award recognises four winners across the categories of human-centred, technology-powered, sustainable and luxury and lifestyle design

DOHA, 24 April 2024

With more than 400 speakers and delegates converging at the dynamic Doha Design District, Msheireb Properties and Fast Company Middle East opened the region’s first Innovation by Design Summit on Wednesday. Celebrating visionary design thinking, the organisers also launched the Msheireb Award for Innovation in Design which recognised four outstanding winners and signalled Msheireb Properties’ plans to be an active player in shaping the future of design innovation in the Middle East.

As a highlight of the Summit, Msheireb Properties unveiled the Msheireb Award for Innovation in Design, recognising exemplary design-driven solutions. The award was created to promote design thinking as a catalyst for positive change, spotlighting ideas that tackle individual, community, and global challenges.

During a gala dinner, four winners were honoured, including global brand consultancy Landor for human-centric design, cardiac diagnostic technology innovator Dr. Mario Garcia for technology-powered design, sustainable construction, and MAD Architects for sustainable design, and Pandora for luxury and lifestyle design. Eng. Ali Al Kuwari announced plans for an expanded 2025 edition of the award with additional categories.

In praising the winners, Eng. Ali Al Kuwari said, “We established the Msheireb Award for Innovation in Design to celebrate innovative design thinking because we believe that smart, accessible design can change the world for the better. Tonight’s winners embody this belief.”

Winners were selected based on criteria such as replicability, design thinking, and audience impact at individual, community, and global levels.

Msheireb Properties and Fast Company Middle East Host Successful Inaugural Innovation by Design Summit in Doha

Msheireb Award for Innovation in Design Recognises Four Winners Across the Categories of human-centred, technology-powered, sustainable and luxury and lifestyle design

DOHA, 24 April 2024

With more than 400 speakers and delegates converging at the dynamic Doha Design District, Msheireb Properties and Fast Company Middle East opened the region’s first Innovation by Design Summit on Wednesday. Celebrating visionary design thinking, the organisers also launched the Msheireb Award for Innovation in Design which recognised four outstanding winners and signalled Msheireb Properties’ plans to be an active player in shaping the future of design innovation in the Middle East.

Opening the Summit, Msheireb Properties CEO Eng. Ali Al Kuwari said, “I’m proud to be here today in the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha to say that Qatar is leading the way in design across its many aspects. Smart, sustainable design is the future, and it’s something we’re proud to champion.”

Adding to this sentiment, Fast Company Middle East Publisher Ravi Raman said, “Organisations and governments are realising the positive impact design thinking can bring. Our mandate at Fast Company Middle East is to highlight this with storytelling and impactful summits.”

The Summit delved into various facets of design and its societal impact, covering topics from biophilic design to AI in content creation. Discussions also explored urban planning’s role in creating people-centric cities, the fusion of technology and creativity, and designing for the experience economy and Gen Z. In addition to featuring several high-profile Qatari innovators as speakers at the Summit, the organisers platformed some of Qatar’s most beloved talent, with Dana Al Fardan performing a selection of her latest compositions and Hamad Al Amari entertaining the crowd of local and international guests.

Speaker comments and quotes:
− “Challenging that shopping is at the core of an airport experience, we put in a garden at the centre of Singapore Changi Airport that is open free of charge, 24/7 with no commercial activity,” said Charu Kokate, Senior Partner, Safdie Architects. Charu is the Project Director of Jewel Changi Airport and headed its design integration and construction that has redefined the air travel experience.
− Guests on the “Can we adopt sustainable new-age materials” panel, which featured Faysal Tabbarah, Associate Dean and Professor of Architecture, American University of Sharjah, Matthew Utley, Principal, Grimshaw, and Nasser Abulhasan, Principal, AGi Architects, discussed regional challenges to sustainability. This included the lack of regional data, the inability to establish a consensus on the value of sustainability, and the fact that industrial development itself can be at odds with the idea of sustainability, making it important to challenge the idea of what humans really need.
− NFT artist Amrita Sethi encouraged creatives to design for the future as more and more people will expect the ability to interact with objects in the digital world. She also launched her newest Bucket Monsters NFT collection.
− Dr. Mario R. García, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, García Media, cautioned to “Mind the AI Gap” but was optimistic about the future of AI because: “AI is a tool, and a human is a creator. We can make connections where none appear to be, and connectivity is crucial to innovation.”
− Speaking during the “How can museums use technology to become immersive” fireside chat, Manager of Exhibitions and Programs at Msheireb Museums Fahad Al Turky emphasised that putting human needs at the heart of technological development is key to creating successful interventions. Sometimes, it’s about not having any technology at all to ensure people have the type of experience they can engage with. Director of the Museum of Islamic Art Shaika Al-Nassr offered an example of just such a project done in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, called Speaking Objects From the World of Islam, which animates texts written on ancient artefacts to make them easier to read and understand.
− During the panel exploring if “The Middle Eastern design language become global,” designer Abdulrahman Al Muftah remarked that regional festivals, biennales like Design Doha and other regional platforms are key to take advantage of the opportunities the region has to offer. Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder of UnlockBrands Miguel Viana said that a focus on consistency is key in terms of opening up different cultures to each other to create huge opportunities for the development of design in the region. Co-Founder of the Khaleeji Art Museum, Sharifah Alhinai, was excited about the opportunity to elevate the region by investing more in digital platforms like digital museums to reach global audiences at the click of a button.
− During the panel exploring “Is technology empowering creativity or stifling it?” Head of Robotics and AI at the Qatar Scientific Club, Mohammed Al-Qassabi remarked that the most constructive opinion on AI is that humans should work with AI rather than fight it. “We need to learn how to utilise these tools and work with them,” he said. He also stressed that the education sector should teach and train students to use AI tools efficiently, as the importance of AI is increasing, as well as its demand.
− In the “Are we designing for the experience economy” panel, Snoonu Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hamad Mubarak Al-Hajri said that the experience economy is all about finding synergy between diverse stakeholders. “Business cannot thrive without the positive interaction between the creative and technological industries to deliver the right value proposition for people.” To help prompt creativity in this space, he added that organisations must review their customer engagement practices and organisation structure. “Going directly to the people to see how they are using your products and creating nimble, small teams to work collaboratively can help break through the creativity block,” he said. Speaking about the success of Snoonu, he said, “We don’t build startups, we build ecosystems that welcome creativity, challenges and collaboration.”