The DIAC, has been called the world's only free zone dedicatedto international higher education. It was established in 2006 tohelp meet the growing demand for higher education in Dubai. Locatedabout 20 minutes from the Dubai business district, the DIAC spans25 million sf and is dedicated solely to universities and colleges.Eight million sf has been dedicated to the international highereducation zone, while three million sf will be allocated forresearch and development centers.

|

Based in Plano, TX, SHW, which specializes in academicfacilities, will oversee the project from its Detroit studio. SHWGroup's Dubai project will include MSU's construction management,family and community services, communication arts and computerengineering programs. SHW designers are taking three floors ofshell space in a new building through programming, conceptualdesign, schematic design and design development, which includesmechanical, electrical and architectural development.

|

"The students that are going to be educated here come fromeverywhere, so our idea is to create an environment that willattract students from all over the Middle East and Europe,"Marjorie Simmons, managing principal of SHW Group's Michiganstudio, tells GlobeSt.com. "At the center of the space is the'origin'--an interactive space where students from the variousprograms can collaborate, share learning experiences and developrelationships. With this interaction, a social energy is createdwhich ripples throughout the surrounding learning environments,further reinforcing the discovery of the students who will beattending the four programs that the university has to offer."

|

Through the use of materials and a dynamic "building language,"the concept will enhance the learning experience throughinteraction and culture exchange. These ideals align with MSU'sgoals to increase student attraction and student retention andSHW's goal of going beyond the basic needs and creating an enhancededucational experience for all who will attend the university.

|

The project is scheduled to be complete by August, so thatstudents can being classes in the fall of 2008, Simmons says."Things happen very quickly in Dubai. There is an intense desire tohave the best education system in the world and they are willing toput the money in and fund it. And there are no unions, unlimitedfunding, and little red tape or government regulation."

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.