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“Al Manakh: Gulf Continued” launched in Abu Dhabi

The second edition of Al Manakh was launched in Abu Dhabi at Paris La Sorbonne University in the presence of Rem Koolhaas, key senior executives of the UPC and Pink Tank.

AL Manakh Cover

Information courtesy of Pink Tank; Image by Pink Tank

Al Manakh: Gulf Continued

Al Manakh: Gulf Continued is an essential and comprehensive guide to the Gulf, penetrating media clichés and delving deep into the new challenges facing the region in the wake of the financial crisis.

Under the exclusive sponsorship of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), Al Manakh: Gulf Continued is a follow-up to the first instalment of Al Manakh. The 536-page book of interviews, travelogs, analyses, propositions, infographics and photography develops a unique inside-out perspective on the region. More than 140 contributors report from six cities in five countries (UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) on the new connections being forged within the Gulf, and the new kinds of influence emanating from the region despite the bleak economic climate.

Guiding voices include editors Rem Koolhaas and Todd Reisz (OMA) and Daniel Camara and Mitra Khoubrou (Pink Tank), Lilet Breddels and Arjen Oosterman (Archis/Volume), and Ole Bouman (Netherlands Architecture Institute).

Al Manakh: Gulf Continued uncovers the structures and networks beneath the stories and events of the past two years – the height of the boom, and the depths of the crisis. According to Rem Koolhaas:

“It is true that at one point a grotesque developer’s euphoria created in the Gulf a number of unsustainable ʻvisionsʼ, some barely built, others mercifully evaporated. With the yearly Cityscape as a nightmarish apotheosis, the region became an experiment in what would happen in a world where the developer would no longer encounter resistance. But the reality on the ground remains much more complex.”

On May 13, the publication was launched in Abu Dhabi at Paris La Sorbonne University in the presence of Rem Koolhaas, key senior executives of the UPC and Pink Tank.

al_manakh_launch_03

Image by desMena

According to Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council:

“The UPCʼs editorial partnership with Al Manakh: Gulf Continued emanates from our commitment to function as an innovative entity generating research in the urban planning field. We consider it as a long-term collaboration to initiate and promote a new level of debate and expertise on strategic urban development challenges in the MENA region”.

Al Manakh: Gulf Continued explores the region in four themes:

  • Crisis and Crises analyzes the events and responses of the Gulf to the economic crisis.
  • Vision reveals the extent of the infrastructural plans, including connectivity, transport, energy and water.
  • Cohabitation deals with the integration of culture in cities and the dynamics of urban living.
  • Export Gulf illustrates how the Gulf is exporting not only products and urban models, but also social, political and economic influence.

The impact of the international financial crisis on the Gulf has changed the worldʼs perspective of the region. But the real dynamics are much more complex than generally perceived. According to Mitra Khoubrou, Partner at Pink Tank: “There are tales of resilience. Launches are still happening and opening invitations are being sent as the Gulf is ahead of the game in terms of on-going projects”. For Daniel Camara, Partner at Pink Tank: “How can it be a crisis when Dubai, the poster child of 2009ʼs annus horribilis unveiled the tallest tower in the world and the first metro system of the Gulf”. In documenting the crucial transformations in the Gulf, Al Manakh: Gulf Continued develops a new, deeply researched and nuanced viewpoint on the tenacious growth of the Gulf region.

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