A true visionary when it comes to contemporary architecture, Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi is the vice president at Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure, a company that has helped transform the Abu Dhabi skyline. As vice president, Abdulla’s main focus is on social infrastructure projects and real estate investment opportunities that are central to Abu Dhabi’s long term development plans.
Abdulla’s firm understanding of architecture is rooted in a Bachelor of Architecture professional degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Architecture II degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He has had the privilege of practicing at renowned firms such as Mohammed Sheikh Mubarak Architects in Dubai, Over, Under Inc. in Boston and Eva Pratts, Ricardo Flores Arquitectes in Barcelona, Spain—three cities renowned for their contemporary building designs and no doubt the influencers of his modern taste in architecture.
Abdulla moved to Abu Dhabi and joined Mubadala Development Company in 2008 as a senior architect. Today, Abdulla focuses his efforts on the development of Al Maryah Island, the site of Rosewood Abu Dhabi, and the new Central Business District of Abu Dhabi.
What is the most blissful moment you’ve ever experienced in Abu Dhabi?
There is nothing more peaceful and relaxing than standing on the top of the breakwater at Zayed Port overlooking the city at sunset.
What do you consider to be the best designer shopping experience in Abu Dhabi?
The Galleria in Sowwah Square, Al Maryah Island is unlike any other shopping experience in the world.
Where would one go in Abu Dhabi for a quintessential cultural experience?
Ramadan nights in Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Describe your most relaxing Abu Dhabi moment.
Watching the dolphins swim along the unspoiled, pristine white sand of Saadiyat Beach.
What is Abu Dhabi’s best art gallery?
Manarat Al Saadiyat Galleries host a yearly Abu Dhabi Art exhibition that is truly outstanding and not to be missed.
Is there a special vantage point in Abu Dhabi to watch the sunset?
One of the most beautiful ways to see the sunset in Abu Dhabi is on a Dhow cruise dinner along the Abu Dhabi Corniche.
Where do you like to take new business partners?
Rosewood Abu Dhabi. The hotel is located at the center of Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District and offers many outstanding dining and entertainment experiences.
In your opinion, who is Abu Dhabi’s most famous local icon?
His Highness, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
What is your favorite way to end the day?
I love to end a long day by drinking Karak tea with family and friends.
Where do you recommend taking kids?
The family section of Corniche beach is a great place to take the kids on a Saturday afternoon.
Describe your favorite Friday afternoon activity.
In my opinion, visiting with relatives and extended family members is the best way to spend a Friday afternoon.