The first Gulf States Building Awards were held last week at a glittering evening ceremony in Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah hotel, where the award-winners hobnobbed with top English rugby players

The stars of the building industry were lent a little extra sparkle at the inaugural Gulf State Building Awards, thanks to the presence of English Rugby World Cup 2003 winners Jason Leonard, Will Greenwood and Neil Back, who handed out the prizes.

Atkins took the gong for Engineering Consultant of the Year based on high-profile projects such as the Bahrain World Trade Centre. Foster + Partners won Architectural Practice of the Year and EC Harris scooped Construction Consultant of the Year.

The award-winning projects were Zighy Bay Six Senses Hideaway Hotel in Oman,which took the sustainability prize. The top hotel was the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri in Abu Dhabi, and the prize for Infrastructure Project of the Year went to the Al Garhoud Bridge in Dubai. The best mixed-use scheme was Downtown Burj Dubai.

The cultural award was won by A’Samaliah Island and the commercial project winner was Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

The prize for Health and Safety Initiative of the Year went to Build Safe Dubai, which is campaigning for safer regulations in the region and has attracted the support of 60 senior managers.

Mohammed Bin Ali Alabbar

of Emaar Properties was named Personality of the Year.

kYou can see video coverage of the awards at