Diriyah, Jewel of the Kingdom: Hala Abukhodair — a rising star at the DGDA

Hala Abukhodair has been an assistant manager at the urban planning department of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority since December 2021.

In her current role, she is responsible for validating planning application reviews, assessing, updating urban guidelines and regulations, and reporting on urban planning projects and services.

Prior to this, Abukhodair worked as an urban planning specialist at the DGDA from September 2020 to December 2021. She participated in the initiation phase and in scope preparation for urban planning projects, assisted in planning application reviews, and reviewed and assessed urban guidelines and regulations.

Abukhodair is also the DGDA representative for environmental initiatives.

She worked part-time as a research assistant with Julia Watson Studio for urban research on indigenous systems (green structure, water systems, agriculture and waste management).

She participated in “Design by Radical Indigenism-Equitable Underwater and Intertidal Technologies of the Global South” which was published inside the SPOOL (in Vol. 8 No. 3: Landscape Metropolis #8, Circular Water Stories #2) with co-authors Julia Watson, Naeema Ali , Avery Robertson, Hakim Issaoui, Chaunzhi Sun.

From January 2016 to May 2019, she worked as an architect with Bechtel for the Riyadh Metro Project. She was an architect for the deep underground station delivery team from April 2017 to May 2019 and for the core engineering team from January 2016 to April 2017.

She assisted in the design, construction, and presentation of mockup rooms for three types of stations: deep underground, elevated and shallow stations.

Abukhodair obtained a master’s degree in architecture and urban design from Columbia University, New York in 2020 where she was awarded the Campbell Award, a Columbia Alumni Association leadership award.

She obtained a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from Prince Sultan University, Riyadh in 2016.
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