26th November 2018
HH Ruler of Sharjah receives UK’s Prestigious RIBA Fellowship for contribution to architecture

HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has been honoured with the prestigious Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in recognition of his services to architecture. RIBA Honorary Fellowships are awarded annually to people who are not architects but have made a particular contribution to architecture. The honour will be conferred on HH the Ruler of Sharjah at a grand ceremony in London on February 12, 2019.

Sumaya Dabbagh, founder of Dubai-based Dabbagh Architects and Chair of RIBA’s Gulf Chapter, said, “It is a great privilege for us to have HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi as an RIBA Honorary Fellow. We are delighted that his support of architectural education and patronage of architectural development in Sharjah has been recognised by this award. Especially, as this comes at a time when we are seeing an increasing relevance for RIBA in the region. The RIBA accreditation offers a stamp of quality and a professional endorsement for local practices acknowledging an international standard of quality practice. The recent visits by our CEO and President have affirmed this and we anticipate substantial expansion of the chartered practices across the region.”

Peter Jackson, Architect Advisor in HH Ruler’s Office and a founder Member of the RIBA Gulf Chapter, welcomed the honour saying, “This recognition of HH the Ruler of Sharjah’s contribution to architecture is especially appropriate. Since taking over in 1972, HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi has stamped and shaped Sharjah with its own individual character. Through his particular passion for creative design and Islamic architecture, the Ruler has commissioned many of its fine buildings. He closely involves himself with the planning and architecture of the Emirate, providing Sharjah with its own unique and powerful identity within the Arab and Islamic world. As a strong advocate for the conservation of historic buildings and urban centres, the Ruler has enabled Sharjah to retain much of its fine traditional architectural heritage. In 2009, HH Ruler of Sharjah issued the Emiri Decree that established the RIBA Gulf Chapter under the patronage of the American University of Sharjah, in recognition of the important contribution the RIBA makes to improving professional education and promoting architectural quality,” he pointed out.

The announcement follows a series of regional developments for the Institute intended to support member-run RIBA Gulf Chapter as well as expand its reach in the Gulf region. Earlier this year, the Institute announced accreditation for non-UK based practices, resulting in nine Chartered Practices in the Dubai region to date. RIBA President Ben Derbyshire and CEO Alan Vallance have engaged with regional practices to promote quality standards and architectural development through participation at Dubai’s Cityscape Global.