Naseej scraps pioneering design contest
Manama, October 8, 2011
A design competition launched by real estate and infrastructure development company Naseej to revolutionise Bahrain's housing sector has been scrapped due to a lack of interest from the students.
Architecture and civil engineering students at Bahrain University had been invited to come up with a concept for an affordable, high quality, environmentally-friendly home to meet the budgets of middle-income Bahrainis.
The winning entrant was to get the chance to work with a firm of architects and BD500 ($1,326) to cover their expenses.
But officials from real estate and infrastructure development company Naseej, which launched the competition, said no one came forward.
'We presume students wanted to concentrate on their exams and take time off since holidays were a week away and the competition required four weeks of studies,' said the firm's strategic planning and property development head Matthew Bulger.
'Naseej is working with tertiary education institutions such as the Bahrain Polytechnic and Bahrain University to have more Bahraini students involved with our projects and gain experience with the private sector.
'Our objective was to launch a housing design competition to get designs that studied what customers and Bahrain want, we wanted to try to get local ideas and perspectives.'
Bulger said the company had no plans to restart the competition and instead intends to approach the university and polytechnic for other initiatives.
'We have three to four projects in the pipeline, however, we are currently partnering with Bahrain Polytechnic to get a framework for students to combine their theoretical studies with practical experience,' he said.
'Here they will be able to obtain a real life experience of working on real life issues, directly applying their skills, knowledge and experience.
'The hope is that they will get a better understanding of what it's like working for the private sector while at the same time Naseej gets fresh insight and ideas for our projects.
'In addition, we get early exposure to the talent coming through the tertiary education facilities, who one day may become part of the Naseej team.'
Students Hussain Abdulla from Bahrain Polytechnic and Amal Al Mansoor from Bahrain University were given a six-week summer internship at Naseej.
'In conjunction with the Bahrain Polytechnic we hope to release the first course on Integrated Marketing and Communications by the end of this year, which will involve marketing students coming up with a plan to launch a particular project,' said Mr Bulger.
'We also hope to include information technology and business faculties in similar programmes in the near future,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service