Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Al Manakh in the Press

March 13 2009

Al Manakh 2:

Financial Times:

‘When it was first published at the height of the boom in 2007, Al-Manakh arrived with little fanfare. But the title - an innovative mix of history, photography, statistics and design - quickly became invaluable to historians and other observers of the Arab Gulf. Now the compendium is back in a second edition that, over 500 pages, seeks to chronicle the Gulf states’ urban experience amid the global financial crisis.’


‘A curated look at the urban experiences of the Gulf at the beginning of a new decade, Al-Manakh 2 launches this week at Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi. Dubai Today spoke with Mitra Khoubrou, Partner at Pink Tank and one of the editors of Al Manakh.’


‘Ik heb een bijzondere band met Al Manakh. Na de eerste editie te hebben gelezen, solliciteerde ik eind 2007 bij een van de internationale bureaus in Dubai. De publicatie van Al Manakh Cont’d markeert mijn vertrek uit de Golf regio naar Shanghai. See you at the next boom.’


‘Al Manakh ontwikkelt zo een alternatief gezichtspunt op de groei-ontwikkeling in de Golf – geen scan vanuit de lucht, maar een exploratie op de grond.’

Emirates Business 24/7:

Rem Koolhaas: ‘The second Al Manakh took 14 months of documentation. We then decided to compress it – the book is a mosaic; an image of a region at a particular moment in time.’


‘Reisz describes the book as being structured like an almanac, tracking news, which then develops into the themes and topics of its contents. “Tracking the news over 2009 reveals that, perhaps more than crisis, an apparent resilience will keep defining these cities’ futures…’

New book to encompass more urban Arabian architecture, by Kathryn Lewis - The National, January 19 [PDF]

Al Manakh 1:

LA Times:

‘Filled with charts, snapshots, diar y entries by the architect’s associates and list upon list printed in agate t ype, the book is officially not a book at all but an expanded issue of Volume, the lively magazine amo put out with Columbia University and the European journal Archis.’

‘Al Manakh reads like an argument Koolhaas is having with himself about whether it’s worth it , morally or architect urally, to work in the uae.’

Financial Times:

‘ With shaky photos that seem to have been taken on cellphones, and short , punchy texts that take on difficult issues and never lapse into jargon or condescension, this odd book represents a serious attempt to analyse the development explosion in the Gulf states.’

‘Al Manakh is never patronizing towards what is emerging. it makes no distinction bet ween avant-garde and commercial, and enthusiastically analyses the work of the faceless international bureaux of master planners and engineers who are building this new Babel .’

RIBA Journal:

‘Al Manakh is compulsive reading because it engages with, and does its best to explain, the astonishing explosion of development in the Persian Gulf.’

‘ This is one of the best architecture/travelogue books I’ve read for years.’

‘ It will become an important historical document , but for now just enjoy the madness.’

Icon Magazine:

‘Al Manakh is intended to expose our haughty, hypocritical, orientalist prejudice.’

‘Granted, Dubai is a fascinating manifestation of contemporary urban culture, and Al Manakh is a long overdue appreciation of it .’

How the Gulf cities are reexamining their methods and their relationships with the rest of the world.
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The authoritative resource for understanding the scope of urban development along the Gulf coast.
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Al Manakh is published as special edition of Volume

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