Over 300 landscape architects, government authorities, urban planners, property developers, environmental specialists, contractors and landscape suppliers are expected to gather at the Middle East Smart Landscape Summit taking place at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi on 27 – 28 May to discuss opportunities and strategies to develop sustainable landscaping practices in Arab cities.
His Excellency Dr. Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, UAE’s Minister of Environment and Water will be officially opening the Summit, and a number of other high-profile GCC government officials will also be attending the event, being held under the patronage of Municipality of Abu Dhabi City (ADM).
Jo Ann Jain, Director at event organiser Expotrade Global, believes that it is the right time for the landscape industry to connect. “The focus by municipalities and property developers on sustainability is greater than ever, and smart landscape planning and design play a big role in this change”.
“Landscape professionals are using the event as a platform to see what initiatives are being taken by product suppliers to encourage sustainability, and learn of the upcoming projects and strategies by local municipalities”, added Jain.
Key speakers include Dr. Amar Jarar, ADM’s irrigation expert, lighting expert Martin Valentine, Dubai Municipality’s Director of Public Parks and Horticulture Ahmed Abdul Karim, and Chief Commissioner of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) Prof. Dr. Kamel Mahadin.
Local and international landscape suppliers will be showcasing their products at the event with Gold Sponsors Desert Group, Convic, Fontana Fountains, GHESA and Silver Sponsors Crystal and Gulf Perlite amongst the leading brands.
Delivered through a combination of key note presentations, case-studies, panel discussions and roundtable sessions the Summit will showcase ADM’s Irrigation Master Plan and Sustainable Public Lighting Strategy, sustainable landscape design by leading architects, smart landscape technologies, and discuss ways to build awareness and engage the community.
The continued growth of the MENA region and quick recovery from the GFC has intensified demand for landscape products and services. The planned spend on major projects including theme parks and other tourist attracts across the region is US$3 trillion, and a fresh investment in the UAE construction industry is expected to provide the landscape sector around US$3.8 billion worth of new projects this year.
UK-based green roof and living wall expert Gary Grant is one of the international guests to the Summit and will be encouraging the UAE to use an ecosystem services approach to infrastructure planning. Geoff Turnbull of ALDAR Properties PJSC, Holley Chant of KEO International Consultants and Geoffrey Sanderson, Principal Director at GCLA International will all sharing experience from working locally in the Middle East.
“The relatively recent introduction of ESTIDAMA planning and design regulations coupled with a growing global sense of responsibility for better resource management has effected a serious change in the landscape industry”, said Geoffrey Sanderson.
“Products and processes, landscape management and maintenance are all under challenge and rightly so. ESTIDAMA demands that almost every landscape element be sustainable but there is a great deal of confusion and inadequate data to support choices of materials, especially plants, irrigation rates, hard landscape materials and furnishing”, said Sanderson.
Expotrade Global is a conference and event organizer with head office based in Melbourne and regional office in Dubai. Specializing in B2B conferences Expotrade has delivered some of the most high-profile events in the infrastructure, IT, mining and resources, sustainability, banking, lighting and energy sectors.
More information on the event can be found at www.landscapesummit.com