Jan. 21, 2020

Ibrahim Mohamed Jaidah


Ibrahim Mohamed Jaidah

Group CEO, Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB)

Landscaping will be focus leading up to World Cup


Ibrahim Mohamed Jaidah is the first architect from the GCC to design a World Cup stadium. He ranks as a pioneer of a new architectural movement that combines the far-reaching influences of Islamic architecture with modern style, creating memorable landmark structures. In each project, he attempts to retain the identity of his culture and embrace the modern. His projects are considered to reflect the cultural, historical and environmental context in which they exist. As an award-winning and published architect, his focus on vernacular architecture has brought a new dimension to the architectural field in the region.

Can you tell us about your main milestones and achievements in the last 30 years?
We deliver projects of various scales and typologies and have diversified teams of experts within their respective departments. We provide architecture and engineering design and consultancy services encompassing mechanical, electrical, structural, civil, infrastructure, and sustainability engineering services and architectural, interior, and landscape design services. Our services cover the entire spectrum of building construction consultancy for the government and private clients regardless of the project's type or size. There have been certain major milestones in my career. When I acquired the firm, there were seven people employed at AEB and slowly, we built it up, reaching 600 employees now. We started small but with each tender won, we grew the team, and that lead to another job and more tenders.

What has been the role of AEB in the construction of the Al Thumama stadium?
The design proposal for the Al Thumama stadium was a design tender won in 2016. Since then, we have worked on the design and engineering of the stadium with firms from all over the world. We are the main design architects but have brought in international specialists for FIFA compliance and security. We worked with 15 consultants from around the world. Al Thumama is only one of the eight stadium planned for the 2022 World Cup, and it is currently under construction. We have a team of about 50 people managing the construction, controlling the quality and the time of the build. At the same time, we are busy with other projects. We are doing hotel projects because hospitality is a booming sector now. As the city is growing, schools and cultural projects are also important, so we are involved in several cultural projects, whether it is restoring older buildings and rehabilitating them or creating museums. In addition to hospitality, education, and cultural sectors, retail projects are also major part of our current project portfolio.

What is your assessment of the future needs of architecture and construction, and how it will change the panorama in Doha in the coming years?
Things are changing rapidly, and the train is already running. With such a massive, state-of-the-art infrastructure, the potential to continue growing will remain, because with the best rail system and the best highway systems, the city can grow. It is easier to grow with such an infrastructure.

What is your relationship with universities and young Qataris who dream of becoming architects?
We participate with universities such as VCUQ and have an award of excellence that we sponsor. We have been doing this for the last 13 years. We like to participate in the community and give back. We train many students. Every year, we have internships, and this summer we have 20 people in different departments. Qatar University has a great school of architecture, and it graduates many young architects, so demand is growing because the country needs more architects.

What is your perspective on how architecture will evolve as a concept in Qatar?
In the coming years, before the World Cup, I am expecting many things to change. There is an ambitious plan in the next few years to enhance the entire pedestrian and cycling walkways for all streets. Landscaping is becoming a focus for the years leading up to the 2022 World Cup, and big budgets are being allocated for such projects. The city will evolve to become a world champion, and that is extremely important. Designing and building sustainably has already become a law, so all government buildings have to meet certain criteria to be green buildings. The city will evolve in the next few years with all this infrastructure and smart technologies. The main stadium will also be state of the art.