Managing Director Basem Al-Shihabi was honored at the First Landscape Middle East Awards Ceremonyhosted by Landscape Middle East Magazine.
On 25 November2019, Mr. Shihabi received the Lifetime Achievement Award presented byLandscape Middle East Magazine at a ceremony atthe Ritz Carlton DIFC Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. According to the event’s organizers, the ceremony was intended to“honor those who through their dedication, creativity and relentless efforts, have left a positive impact on the landscape profession in the Middle East.” A special advisory board of prominent professionals selectedthe award recipients.
Mr. Shihabi’s award recognizes his contributions to landscape architecture and designover more than four decades. After completing his architectural education at the School of Fine Arts in Cairo in 1967, Mr. Shihabi earned a postgraduate diploma in landscape architecture from the University of Edinburgh, UK. Helearned to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries with architects, planners, engineers, soil scientists, economists, and horticulturists, among others. In 1973 Mr. Shihabico-founded the Riyadh-based design consultancy that became Omrania, integratinglandscape with architecture, engineering, master planning, and urban design. His organic approach has helped build momentum for sustainable and contextual architecture across the Middle East and beyond.
Mr. Shihabi’s determination to design with nature has resulted in timeless projects such as the Tuwaiq Palace,a preeminent cultural and diplomatic facility in Riyadh, which was completed in 1985. With its exquisite garden court, curving masonry walls, and tensile shade canopies blending vernacular and modern components, the Tuwaiq Palace received the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1998. Together with his Omrania colleagues and other talented collaborators, Mr. Shihabi participated in the landscape design of Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter, the 25-hectare Salam Parkin the heart of Riyadh and, most recently, the visionary plan for King Salman Park, a 13.3-square-kilometer green space that will be the largest urban park in the world.
According to Landscape Middle East Magazine, the Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony was intended to “highlight the importance of landscape architecture in the development of our cities, communities and the impact it has on people’s health, happiness and quality of life.” In that spirit, Mr. Shihabi humbly accepted the award on behalf of Omrania, and pledged to continue working to integrate landscape with architectureand urbandesign.