- Environment & Infrastructure
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- Happold Consulting
On 2nd December the UAE celebrates its 41st year of existence and those of us living here can look forward to seeing, hearing and participating in a long weekend of celebrations. Many will involve traditional music and dances. There will be an annual parade along with a parachuting competition and, of course, many evenings of slow-moving traffic painted in national colours and honking their horns with pride!
While the UAE is young, it is a nation with a clear ambition to develop a sustainable society that uses the latest technology to provide the best possible future for the citizens of today and tomorrow.
Of course, ambition alone is not enough. When faced with the twin challenges of a rollercoaster global economy and widespread social tensions that exist in many parts of the world today, this lofty ambition would be virtually impossible to achieve without access to sufficient resources and strong leadership. Fortunately with the eight largest oil and natural gas reserves in the world and an organised and decisive government, the UAE has both in abundance and the evidence of the advancements achieved so far are here for us all to see.
We at Buro Happold are fortunate to have been involved with some of the achievements of the past 41 years and we are also excited to be part of the future of the nation as well. We get involved in a wonderfully diverse range of projects in the built environment whether they are in education (such as Kings Dubai), retail (such as the Burjuman centre), culture (such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi) or sports (such as the Dubai Autodrome).
We also help to create sustainable communities through our involvement in civil engineering and masterplanning on projects such as Lulu Island - a barrier island designed to protect the Abu Dhabi Corniche from the Arabian Sea, Al Maryah Island - which creates a new central business district in Abu Dhabi, or Ain Al Fayda - which provides high quality sustainable housing in the oasis city of Al Ain.
It is natural that we are proud of our people. We know that they are the best in the industry, but it is also great to see that their efforts are recognised externally and the recent Middle East MEP awards saw Agniezka Szymczyk named as Young Engineer of the Year and Rob Cooke named as Engineer of the Year – both very well deserved. Well done!
Just as importantly, our people are proactive members of the society that our business activities are helping to develop. Not only do we sit on advisory panels for various university courses, learned societies and councils, but we also participate in programmes to help in schools and clean up the local environment. We raise our children here and, although very few of us were born here, this is the place that we are proud to call home.
So, wherever you are located, and whatever your connection might be with the UAE, help us to celebrate and remember to honk your horn on 2nd December!