Fawaz Bakhotmah

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Fawaz Abid Bakhotmah was born in Rafha, a town in the north of Saudi Arabia. It is located on the old pilgrims path that connected between the Baghdad and Mecca, and also on the highway, which links the countries of Arabian Gulf and eastern Saudi Levant, Turkey and Europe. Interestingly, Rafha was a main location for the Trans-Arabian Pipeline for oil (Tapline). In its heyday, it was an important factor in the global trade of petroleum and economic development.

Fawaz’s growth, study and work were in well-known location worldwide; Makkah (Mecca) the holiest city in Islam and Jeddah the bride red sea, the home to one of the world’s largest open air art museums, the hub for Muslim shopping and the place for the first Saudi's university, King Abdulaziz (KAU), which Fawaz got his bachelor degree in Architecture. He competed hardly with many Saudi students to get the Japan Monbusho Scholarship for his master degree in design from University of Tsukuba.

Professionally, he started the career in Municipality as an Architect, and then he practiced architecture and interior design with group of friends. However, he backed to government in short time supervising variety of teams in airport design projects and member of many decision committees. Ten years later, he was appointed to lead group of engineers, one of huge urban mount development in Holy City of Makkah. Then, he became a Senior Architect for the new King Abdulaziz International Airport Development (KAIA). Before he came to Hong Kong for Ph.D study, he was in the position of Lecturer at architecture department, KAU, where he taught visual communication, basic design and undergraduate architecture studios. At the same time, he was a General Director of Mega and innovative Projects, department at Jeddah Municipality for two years.

Research Title
Strategies for Supporting Innovation in Saudi Arabia: A Comparative Study on Design Strategies with regard to Design Excellence and Economic Value.

Prof. Ming Xi Tang (Chief Supervisor)
Dr. Xiangyang Xin (External Co-supervisor)

About the Research
The King of Saudi Arabia has established King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) as a new "House of Wisdom" in the Arabian Desert through incredible time and incredible cost. 12.5 billion USD bring King's dream to a real fascinating development, surely, such vision makes Saudi Arabia involving with the advanced knowledge worldwide. Fawaz's Ph.D research came as a reflection of the above real dream vision. Likely, could Saudi Arabia establish another fascinating development in field of Innovation that interacting between design excellence and economic value?

Research Objective: Rapid globalizations urge Saudi Arabia to recognize the importance of design and develop strategies to support design in order to enhance competitiveness of the economy, and optimum implementation of its opportunities.

Research Problem: Saudi Arabia, one of the richest countries due to its natural resources. Also, It is implementing several huge strategies related to Youth, Investment, Tourism, Economic, Transport, IT, Science and Technology, in addition Saudi Arabia has deep history, unique culture, youth majority as well as combative minds. Unfortunately, the researcher after 20 years experiences in government and private design sectors, he fully convinced that there is no tangible and clear design output advantages of these opportunities in relation to design excellence and business competitive locally and internationally.

Research Need: Such serious problem really needs empirical research to investigate the suitable future vision for Saudi Arabia and draw the best scenarios within the frame of research objective.

Researcher Achievement: Saudi Arabia government should realize that future policies, developments and modernity without design is very serious issue, however, "design" is not fun, fashion or products consumption; "design" is remaining a pride source and a common exchange value for the people life, systems and services of the influential countries.

Research Plan: Research will achieve through four phases, Understanding, Reading and Collecting, Analyzing and Discussing and Final Writing

Hopefully, this research could shape the future of Saudi Arabia opportunities with design by taking into account the experience of countries such as, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Japan, and Malaysia.