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Young Emirati Architect Mona Abdullah Al Ali wins with her design, ‘Enlightenment House’

Englightenment House Rendering 1st Feb 2017

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation Honour the 2016 Mubadala Design Commission Award Winner

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) yesterday announced young Emirati architect, Mona Abdullah Al Ali as the 2016 winner of the highly coveted ADMAF Mubadala Design Commission Award at a ceremony held at ADMAFs’ office. The prestigious award, which recognises outstanding innovation and creativity in design, invited applicants from across the UAE. Mona Abdullah Al Ali’s winning design, entitled ‘Enlightenment House’ reflects the 2030 Abu Dhabi vision for environmental sustainability and energy conservation. The 19,000-square-metre extension to a healthcare facility consists of a four-storey building, urban walkway and spa; offering a range of stimulating indoor and outdoor environments for the educational and holistic benefit of patients with chronic diseases as well as the general public.


Commenting on the winning entry, Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, said: “At ADMAF, we firmly believe that creativity inspires new ways of thinking and nurtures an appetite for discovery. The Mubadala Design Commission enables the next generation of architects, engineers and designers to explore their creativity, transcend convention and invent new forms that directly reflect the vision of the UAE.


Mona Abdullah Al Ali’s ‘Enlightenment House’ is indicative of the spirit of innovation thriving among the young professional community of the UAE today. Her detailed designs for the extension of an healthcare facility are not only rooted in the country’s rich heritage but also focused on the creative application of technological solutions.

The Mubadala Design Commission is a fine example of how the unifying of science, technology and the arts, and the provision of equal access to all three fields, shall enable the next generation to unlock their imaginations and flourish for the benefit for this great nation.”


Winner Mona Abdullah Al Ali graduated in Architectural Engineering from UAE University in 2010 and went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Engineering Systems & Management from Masdar Institute. To date, she has worked on several projects for a variety of private and semi-governmental initiatives. Her winning design, ‘Enlightenment House’ moved judges with its dynamic and sustainable features. Taking inspiration from the indigenous al qebqab flower found in the mountains of Ras Al Khaimah, the sleek design integrates innovative architectural components and man-made landscapes with the application of technology to attain optimum environmental sustainability and energy conservation. Enlightenment House, which was designed with patient well-being in mind, provides a contemplative and inspirational place for patients and visitors – a liveable space that nurtures a sense of connection with the surrounding urban community.

As part of the criteria for the Mubadala Design Commission, applicants were required to submit a design proposal for a healthcare extension. As specified the design of the zone needed to demonstrate a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math (STEAM) educational philosophy inspired by the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.