Experts hail Bilarab Bin Haitham Prize for Architectural Design

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Muscat: Specialists in the field of architectural engineering in the Sultanate of Oman have highlighted the significance of the Bilarab Bin Haitham Prize for Architectural Design, which was officially announced on Saturday.

The award, they said, was the first of its kind in Oman and was distinctive in many ways: it is aligned with its intellectual message and it reflects human communication through the ages.

The award is a distinction recognizing the merits of talented Omani youth. In its first round, it highlights the location of the Al Mina neighborhood of the Wilayat of Mattrah where a landmark has been designed to embody 50 years of Omani renaissance and the country’s quest to accomplish Oman Vision 2040.

Dr Saleh Nassir Al Saadi, Associate Professor at Sultan Qaboos University College of Engineering, said the Bilarab Bin Haitham Award for Architectural Design, unveiled at the start of Oman Vision 2040, promotes a set of national priorities, including “promoting the sustainable development of governorates and cities”, “developing national capacities in the fields of education, learning and research”, “venerating citizenship, identity, heritage and culture and “highlight the importance of the environment and natural resources”.

Al Saadi added that in addition to developing the expertise of young people, the prize serves to familiarize local and international libraries with their technical designs which reflect the diversity of Omani topography and climate and the related challenges faced by participants. .

Meanwhile, Eng. Badr Nassir Al Haddabi, an architect, said the award is an initiative to affirm the role of Omani youth in the development of local communities as envisioned in Oman Vision 2040 and strategies related to tourism and economic strategies. The award serves as a platform to empower young Omanis by giving them exposure to common local and international designs, Al Haddabi added, noting that it will eventually result in small and medium enterprises.

In turn, architectural engineer Huda Al Jahwari, said the award reflects a civilized humanitarian aspect of Omani culture. “The award crystallizes the achievements of the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said over the past 50 years of the Omani Renaissance, as well as the clear vision of renewed Renaissance embraced by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik,” Eng. Huda added.

“As architects, we are delighted with the launch of the Bilarab Bin Haitham Prize for Architectural Design, which offers a unique model of dealing with the very spirit of Omani architecture. It is a great incentive for Omani youth to delve into the field with innovative designs that are both comprehensive and universal,” she explained.

Eng. Ali Jaafar Al Lawati, a researcher in the field of architecture, said the launch of the award in the heart of old Muttrah is of great significance due to the historical role of the city as a commercial hub through the ages, with its different ethnic groups have co-existed peacefully for centuries.

Al Lawati affirmed that the prize provides a platform for the exchange of ideas on Arab and contemporary architectural designs.

The Bilarab Bin Haitham Prize for Architectural Design offers the opportunity for 10 competitors to participate in the final round, which will be chaired by an arbitration committee. The first place winner will receive 20,000 OMR; the second 15,000 OMR and the third 10,000 OMR.

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