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Al Manakh

Analysis of developments along the Gulf: A Guide, a Survey, an Agenda
May 2007

AMO / Archis / Moutamarat releases the book "Al Manakh", the first ever comprehensive analysis of the development of The Gulf, unveiled on the occasion of the International Design Forum in Dubai (27-29 May 2007).

Al Manakh offers a detailed analysis of the history, culture and architecture of The Gulf region including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah and discusses the implications of the rapid development of these territories for the rest of the world.

This is the first time that the unprecedented urban condition of this region has been comprehensively documented from diverse viewpoints and communicated to outside the region. Voices of architects, intellectuals and developers making The Gulf happen are represented in the numerous essays and interviews that accompany this richly illustrated study. Key figures such as, Rem Koolhaas, Ole Bouman, and Thomas Krens give their take on the current situation in The Gulf, along with their predictions for the future of this ‘ultimate tabula rasa’.

Al Manakh is divided into three sections:

I.The Dubai Guide:
This opening chapter edited by MOUTAMARAT considers current projects, productions, plans and ideas happening specifically in Dubai. Highlights include essays by George Katodrytis, Elie Domit and Nadim Karam.
II. Gulf Survey:
This sizable section presents the in-depth research on The Gulf region carried out by AMO, the creative think tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). In this survey individual social, cultural and urban histories are presented for seven territories along The Gulf coast. Detailed statistics offer new insight into the architecture and urban ambitions of the Gulf and the social, economic and cultural consequences that the new urban condition can have on a society.
A collection of essays reveals some of the most cogent aspects of The Gulf now, such as The World man-made islands off the coast of Dubai or the construction workers’ cities. Writings by Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf and Todd Reisz offer vital insight into the significance of the phenomena of The Gulf in the contemporary global context.
At the end of this section a comprehensive overview of all the current urban and resort developments in The Gulf is offered. This is the first list of its kind that acts as an invaluable resource providing detailed information on projects taking shape today.
III. The Global Agenda:
The last section edited by ARCHIS reflects concepts and strategies for design to provide shelter, security, sustainability, fairness and dialogue. Authors and artists like Nader Ardalan, Stefano Boeri, CRIT, Ricardo Devesa, Emiliano Gandolfi, Jiang Jun, Jeroen Mensink, Bas Princen, Ilka & Andreas Ruby, Urban Think Tank and others reflect on ‘what can be the mission for design today’. Thirteen ‘Creative Design Agendas’ are compiled as a design manual for the greater good.
With impressive graphics, a mirage of images and ground breaking new discoveries Al Manakh will be the most instrumental and immediately useful tool on The Gulf for architects, planners, designers, developers, decision makers and academics alike. Al Manakh will be launched as a special issue of Volume Magazine (#12) at the first International Design Forum organized in Dubai by Moutamarat from May 27-29. After this date, the publication will be made available in North America, Europe and the rest of the Middle East and Asia.
About the Al Manakh contributors

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is a leading international partnership practicing contemporary architecture, urbanism and cultural analysis. It is engaged in a large number of projects in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America.
The counterpart to OMA’s traditional architectural practice is AMO, a design and research studio based in the company’s Rotterdam office. While OMA remains dedicated to the realization of buildings and master plans, its subsidiary AMO is a think tank that operates in areas beyond the boundaries of architecture and urbanism - including sociology, technology, media and politics.
Currently AMO is working for the Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg) and for fashion house Prada. In addition it has been engaged in studies for the European Union and various OMA projects. AMO’s resume includes work for Universal Studios, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Harvard University, Condé Nast, Heineken, and Ikea. Recent works include the development of in-store technology for Prada, a strategy for the future of Volkswagen, a strategy for TMRW, new organic fast food chain and work for Platform 21, new design institute in Amsterdam, study for The Danish Architecture Centre (DAC).
At the Venice Biennale in 2005, AMO explored the expansion of the world’s museums and art galleries and investigated whether large extensions were necessary using the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg as example. At the Venice Biennale in 2006 AMO explored the vast urban development of the Gulf, a study used as a base for the publication of Al Manakh.
For more information, please contact the OMA PR department:
OMA*AMO Rotterdam
Jan Knikker or Hausi Abdul-Karim at pr@oma.nl
Phone: +31 10 24 38 200
Archis Publishers is the publisher of, amongst others, VOLUME Magazine, independent quarterly for architecture to go beyond itself. As state of the art magazine it sets the design agenda. VOLUME is a collaborative project of Archis with AMO (think tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture of Rem Koolhaas, Rotterdam) and C-Lab (‘laboratory for architectural broadcasting’ of the architectural department of Columbia University, New York).
Archis Publishers also assists third parties in concept development and production of publications that are related to the fields of interest of Archis. Archis Interventions, the not for profit branch of Archis, has set itself on a course to provide cities in need with clues and concepts to revive the public domain, to re-energize its urban spirit and to revitalize its trust in dialogue as the essence of civic life.
See also www.archis.org
Moutamarat is a high profile pan-Arab business initiative seeking to create business knowledge for the Arab world. It develops unique knowledge agendas in partnership with leading regional and international corporations, experts and knowledge centers and unveils these agendas through a prestigious portfolio of conferences, where it gathers the most relevant decision-makers. Moutamarat’s research and initiatives are designed to inform the Arab decision-makers with real, contrasted and objective data and to effect a long-term impact on their decisions by involving them in a cumulative and incremental process of knowledge acquisition.
See also www.moutamarat.com

(Press release of the publishers)

Al Manakh Facts

Rem Koolhaas, Mitra Khoubrou, Ole Bouman
Managing editor:
Arjen Oosterman
Design: Irma Boom, Natasha Chandani, Sonja Haller
Format: 24x17, 500 pages
Publisher: Archis Foundation
Distribution: Europe, Asia and USA by Idea Books, IPS Pressevertrieb, Jashanmal National
Price: € 29.90
ISBN: 978-90-77966-12-9

Archis Foundation

PO Box 14702

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