Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Regional Tours, CTBUH 8th World Congress, Dubai, March 2008

Manama, Bahrain, March 2nd
Abu Dhabi, UAE, March 6th
Doha, Qatar
, March 6th

Though much of the congress was obviously focused on Dubai, there was the opportunity for delegates to witness the incredible achievements of some of the other cities in the Middle East region, through a number of pre- and post-congress regional tours organized and escorted by members of the Congress Organizing Committee.

    Several delegates could not resist the opportunity to visit Bahrain prior to the Congress, to witness the incredible Bahrain World Trade Center project, with its three, largest-in-the-world building-mounted wind turbines. This project is bravely venturing down an experimental path for the benefit of the construction industry as a whole – to test exactly how much on-site energy through wind can be generated at height. Courtesy of the architects and engineers WS Atkins, the delegates on this tour were treated to a thorough exploration of the building as a whole, including close-up study of the wind turbines themselves which were undergoing testing and commissioning at the time.

Doha Tour: Aspire Tower, Qatar   Abu Dhabi Tour: Skytower under construction

Fifty or so colleagues stayed on after the congress had finished to visit Abu Dhabi. Having seen many of the projects currently in planning there through the three days of Congress presentations – projects like the Masdar new carbon-neutral city or Sadiyaat Island – it was great for these delegates to be able to see first-hand how this part of the United Arab Emirates intends to develop itself.

Bahrain Tour: North elevation of Bahrain World Trade Center, Manama   Bahrain Tour: viewing Wind Turbine from exterior balcony

Also taking place after the Congress was a tour of Qatar in Doha, courtesy of CTBUH members Bill Maibusch of Turner Construction and Kerry Galbraith of KEO. Bill and Kerry, who are based in Doha, gave delegates a personal insight on living and working in the Qatari city, including a drive out in 4-wheel drives into the desert and tours of interesting projects such as the Aspire Tower.