RIBA Honorary Fellows, RIBA Gulf Chapter, Sheikh Sultan Al-Qasimi, Sharjah, Sharjah architecture, United Arab Emirates, Peter Jackson

RIBA announces Ruler of Sharjah as honorary fellow for his contributions to architecture

RIBA has recognised His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, as one of its 2019 honorary fellows. 

Rewarding those who have made contributions to architecture in a broad sense, the fellowship recognises individuals for their promotion and administration of architecture, as well as for their role in building more sustainable communities and in the education of future generations. The lifetime honour, conferred annually, allows recipients to use the suffix Hon FRIBA. 

"Since becoming Ruler of Sharjah in 1972, His Highness has stamped and shaped Sharjah with its own individual architectural character," said Peter Jackson, architect advisor in the Ruler of Sharjah's office. "Through his particular passion for creative design and Islamic architecture, he has commissioned and is a patron of much of its fine architecture. He closely involves himself with the planning of its cities, and with its architects, providing the emirate with its own unique and powerful identity within the Arab and Islamic World."

Among his many accomplishments, His Highness is chairman of the board of two universities, the University of Sharjah and the American University of Sharjah, both of which he founded with some of the region's top schools of architecture. And in December 2009, he issued the Emiri Decree that established the RIBA Gulf Chapter under the patronage of the American University of Sharjah, a move that came in recognition of the contribution the RIBA makes to improving professional education and promoting quality in architectural design.

"As a strong advocate for the conservation of historic buildings and centres, His Highness has also provided Sharjah with an unparalleled architectural heritage in the Gulf region, while at the same time facilitating local and regional conservation training through his sponsorship of the Sharjah ICCROM Centre," said Jackson.

In addition to His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, other honorary fellows include Robert Ball, chef executive at Architects Benevolent Society; James Carpenter, artist and designer at James Carpenter Design Associates; Beatrice Fraenkel, chairman at Mersey Care NHS Foundation; Zina Jardaneh, chair of the board at The Palestinian Museum; Sarah Gaventa, director of Illuminated River Foundation; Eusebio Leal Spengler, historian of Havana City; Yana Peel, CEO of Serpentine Galleries, and Dr Lynne Walker, architectural historian at the University of London.