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Sanjiv participated in Architectural Trade Mission to Middle East

Sanjiv Bhandari, AIA, FIIA, represented his firm as a select group of 15 Architectural Firms from USA for an architectural trade mission to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The mission was organized by American Institute of Architects (AIA) in collaboration with US Dept. Of Commerce and US Embassies. The purpose of the mission was to introduce U.S. firms to Saudi Arabia and Qatar’s rapidly expanding economies, and to assist U.S. companies in pursuing export opportunities in this sector. The first stop was in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 16-17, followed by Doha, Qatar on November 18-20, 2014.

The mission in Riyadh started with welcome remarks by the US Embassy representative and a market briefing by two international firms working in Saudi Arabia. It also included several business to business meetings with local developers, public agencies, and international firms and a networking dinner reception at the Deputy Commissioner’s Residence with several dignitaries from the public and private sector. The Second day started with a visit to Saudi Council of Engineers’ office for a briefing and round table discussion on the practice of architecture in Saudi Arabia and concluded at King Saud University and a meeting with the Dean of College of Architecture & Planning.

Ambassador Dana Shell Smith welcomed the delegation on the first day in Doha, followed by several keynote speakers on local laws, taxations and other aspects of ‘Doing Business in Qatar’. A site visit to Msheireb Enrichment Center was the highlight of the day, where delegates learned about the history and culture of Qatar through elaborate exhibits and a miniature working model of old town Doha, which will be completely rebuilt in next few years. A dinner reception was hosted by the Ambassador at her house where President-elect of AIA, Elizabeth Chu Richter also joined the delegation.

The second day in Qatar was the core of this mission where delegates visited some of the most prominent developments in Qatar, including a new city under construction just north of Doha called ‘Lusail City’, and participated in a joint briefing on projects & prospects by Qatari Diar and Lusail City official. A Luncheon was hosted by AIA in the world renowned ‘Museum of Islamic Art’ designed by star architect I.M. Pei. Site visits continued the following day with visits to the recently completed ‘Lekhwiya Stadium’, the under construction ‘The Mall of Qatar’ and Sheraton Hotel.

Sanjiv also travelled to Bahrain on 21st November to meet with few contacts as well as to tour the some of the new Retail malls in the Kingdom of Bahrain