In Conversation with John Brash & Andrei Dolnikov
Topic: The Power of Imagination
How Middle Eastern developers are delivering truly futuristic projects across Dubai, Saudi Arabia & Qatar
In placemaking, augmented reality helps to express and sell visions of a what a future ‘destination’ or development might look, feel and be like. Whilst these concepts may never see the light of day, they fuel innovative and disruptive thinking, playing a significant role in shaping the future of places.
Most of the futuristic destinations occur in emerging markets as there are fewer boundaries (budgets, legislation, space, etc.) and therefore greater opportunity to think outside the box and build new legacies.
A true property guru, Robert has developed, marketed and sold some of the world’s most reputable projects across five continents. Embarking on his career from his native Canada, he developed the country’s largest master-planned urban community; Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Place – commissioned by the legendary Hong Kong magnate and philanthropist: Li Ka-shing.
From there he moved to Concord Adex Developments Corporations where, as Director of Development, he oversaw a $2 billion development scheme in Toronto that became his stepping-stone to the world. Moving to Dubai in 2001, he joined Emaar Properties PJSC, holding a number of Senior Executive roles, including CEO of North America and CEO of Real Estate. He was instrumental in the development of Arabian Ranches, Emirates Living, Emirates Hills, The Greens, and The Dubai Marina, bringing 40,000 residential units onto the market.
His crowning achievement is the renowned flagship project ‘Downtown Dubai’ where from day one he has overseen everything from hiring masterplanners to launching the hotel, retail and residential components – including the iconic Burj Khalifa. Having defined international build standards, he retains his role at Emaar as Advisor to the Chairman. Robert holds a Master’s degree in Real Property Development & Planning from the University of British Columbia in Canada, as well as a BA in Political Science. He is a regular speaker at key RE conferences around the world.