Staff in focus Sherif Anis
In the eyes of Sherif Anis, Design Director of Al Maryah Central, what Gulf Related is delivering on Al Maryah Island is trendsetting.
“We are truly creating an Abu Dhabi experience, overlaid with the best of what has been done in other parts of the world. Like all Related projects, we are delivering a place that will not only change the way Abu Dhabi looks, but change the way the world looks at Abu Dhabi.”
Born in Alexandria, Egypt and raised in the USA, Sherif is a graduate of Syracuse University School of Architecture in New York—beginning his career in architecture working for Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott as a student intern.
“For the first three years following my graduation, I had the opportunity to work with my father. This started with an award-winning design of my parents’ house, followed by a few residential additions and the major renovation of a college building.”
During his career, which includes 18 years with CBT Architects, Sherif has worked across the spectrum of property, on everything from master planning and design of academic, residential, mixed use and civic buildings, to commercial interior fit-outs.
Working on projects across the USA, Bermuda, UK, Bahrain, Kuwait, KSA and Abu Dhabi, Sherif has become increasingly involved with the technical, management and development aspects of the industry, broadening his focus from pure design.
“Moving from consultant to client side was a natural progression for me, having worked closely with owners and developers for so many years. Working on Al Maryah Central with the Gulf Related team is the highlight of my career, as I’m responsible for visioning, overseeing and developing this incredible retail asset, and ensuring that design objectives, intent and expectations are realized, maintained and implemented.”
At Gulf Related, Sherif works closely with the leasing, real estate investment, commercial, project, design, construction management and marketing and communications teams.
“By nature, design is a discipline that aligns itself with, and takes cues from, disciplines other than its own. In order for a design to have meaning beyond serving its own objectives, it must meet the needs of the user, match or better the targeted budget, be buildable, attractive, livable, and most importantly—sustainable.”
Sherif thrives on the multi-faceted approach to planning and working with different functions to bring Al Maryah Central to life.
“Creating a destination that brings to life the Emirati sense of community, while reinforcing the country’s future as a global destination, is an inspiring commitment. Being able to effect positive change through the design and program is always fulfilling—no matter how small the change might be. But when you reshape detail, so that it brings back meaning to the original design intent, and tells a story, that is so meaningful to me.”
Upon completion, Al Maryah Central will be a place where families and individuals alike can spend a day off or an evening out.
“Unlike other parts of the world, people in the UAE spend a significant amount of time in malls, and consequently, Al Maryah Central will accommodate that better than any other retail environment ever has. Our multi-faceted development will see the creation of a world-class environment in which to live, work and play. And I can’t wait to enjoy it with my family.”
Living by the motto “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”, Sherif gives everything his all. From competitive water polo, skiing and scuba diving with his boys, to travelling the world with his family to experience different cultures and stories, Sherif extracts maximum value from every aspect of life.
“As my children get older, we are starting to share similar interests. Our favourite thing to do together is experience and explore different cultures and appreciate the art and history of other countries. This to me is worth more than anything, because it broadens their mind and enables them to hear the stories of others.”