Interior design students from Abu Dhabi University’s (ADU) College of Engineering (COE) collaborated with the Rotana design team, taking the case study for their final project from the Beach Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi. As part of the brief, students were asked to apply their theoretical knowledge and translate it into applied practical experience, offering innovative design concepts for the hotel’s interior architecture and design. Additionally, participating students had the opportunity to gain real-life client experience in the interior design industry by engaging with real clients, day-to-day design activities, and site visits.
As part of the collaboration, 26 students were assigned to two hospitality projects in eight groups. The first project focused on the renovation of the Beach Rotana’s guest rooms. The second project revolved around the renovation of the hotel’s lobby, all-day dining outlets, and coffee shops. From a thematic perspective, both projects are inspired by hospitality themes from different parts of the world, such as France, the Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Switzerland.
ADU interior design students presented their final hospitality projects to a jury comprised of members of the Rotana design team at the University’s main campus on 22 November 2021
ADU hosted the pre-final presentation, sponsored by Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC), at its main campus in the presence of Dr Sadeka Shakour, Interior Design Program Coordinator at ADU, and Eng. Fadia Al Hennawi, Interior Design Head and Partner at Al Bahri Interiors. Najee N. Syriani, Corporate Vice President –Rotana Projects Renovation, and Pauline Abou Jaoudi, Director of the Rotana Interior Design, were also part of the jury. During the presentations, participating students were given feedback on their projects.
The Rotana design team was heavily involved in the design process and provided the students with ongoing support and constructive feedback during their midterm and pre-final submissions. The team will also be part of the final project submission, where students will receive honour certificates in different categories, including presentation skills and concept application.
ADU focuses on collaborations with companies within the industry, such as Al Bahri Consultants, to support outstanding students through internships and job opportunities.
The presentation represents a collaboration between ADU’s College of Engineering (COE) and the Rotana design team
Dr Sadeka Abdul Shakour, Associate Professor of Furniture and Interior Design and Interior Design Program Coordinator at Abu Dhabi University, said: “It is wonderful to witness the exemplary standards applied by our students. Cleverly interspersing style and practicality, the projects presented ranged from contemporary art to Arabian inspired designs. The competency of our students’ work reflects their commendable skills, artistic vision, and the tools that they have acquired during their journey at Abu Dhabi University.”
Shakour added: “We look forward to seeing all of our students contribute to enriching the field of urban development in the UAE. The professors and academic staff at Abu Dhabi University encourage and support students to prepare them for the future while bolstering their outstanding calibre and creative prowess.”
Najee from the Rotana Projects team said: “Through our strong belief in the collaborative mission of bridging the gap between academia and the real world, we are delighted to be supporting the young Interior Design future stars from Abu Dhabi University. We do not doubt that this collaboration adds value and knowledge to Abu Dhabi University’s wonderful students, and we wish them a great success for the future.”
ADU’s College of Engineering is the largest engineering college in the UAE. Its state-of-the-art curriculum and advanced facilities offer a strong range of engineering programs that successfully prepare students to tackle the market’s ever-changing needs.
The interior design programme at ADU combines aesthetics and technology, including Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and 3D computer modelling, to help students create remarkable indoor environments that are practical and elegant.