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Dariush Zandi is a member of many associations, including the UAE Architectural Heritage Society, where he has been a member for over 15 years, serving as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of its English Chapter. The UAE Architectural Heritage Society was established in 2003 and is a federal institution of public benefit, which aims to preserve, document, qualify and publish the UAE's urban heritage in coordination with local and international stakeholders.

Lecture in February 2015 by Michele Bambling, Ph.D. Creative Director, Lest We Forget and Curator National Pavilion UAE, Venice Architecture Biennale 2014; Adina Hempel, Dipl.-Ing. Arch Assistant Professor Zayed University and Head of Research, National Pavilion UAE, Venice Architecture Biennale 2014; Marco Sosa, M. Arch, RIBA Assistant Professor Zayed University and Head of Design, National Pavilion UAE, Venice Architecture Biennale 2014. The lecture highlighted some of the extraordinary architectural examples built during the early years of the nation and will shed light on the importance of modern architectural heritage.


  • February 2014: Khor Dubai. This lecture was made possible by a collaboration between the English chapter of the UAE Architectural Heritage Society, Dubai Municipality, International Council of Monuments and Sites in UAE (ICOMOS-UAE) and International Council of Museums (ICOM UAE). The guest speaker was Architect Rashad Bukhash, Director of Dubai Municipality's Architectural Heritage Department and Chairman of the UAE Architectural Heritage Society. The lecture celebrated Khor Dubai (Dubai Creek) as a nominated world heritage site for UNESCO. It constitutes an outstanding and universally valuable site where natural, architectural and cultural components create a unique urban landscape where influences and human interactions from the entire Gulf region mingle into a coherent and alive ensemble preserving both tangible and intangible heritage values.

  • February 2013: How Windtowers Work: A Study Of Their Effectiveness In Dubai’s Bastakiya. Lecture by Peter Jackson, founding chairman of the English Chapter of the UAE Architectural Heritage Society. A paper co-authored with Dr Anne Coles and Ian Jones & presented at the CIAV (International Committee of Vernacular Architecture) Conference at Al Ain, November 2012. The paper covered measurement of temperatures in restored Bastakiya windtowers, interviews with former residents as to how, when and by whom windtowers were used, wind tunnel testing of a scale model, and application of meteorological records, live readings and wind tunnel data for CFD studies to visualise airflow and speed.

  • November 2012: Ummayad and Andalusian Heritage: Al Hambra and Qusayr Amra From Madinat al-Zahra to the Alhambra. An approach to Palatine Architecture in Al-Andalus through Virtual Reconstruction. Lecture by Dr. Ana Almagro Vidal, Project Manager at the Spanish Historic Heritage Conservation Department at the Caja Madrid Foundation in Madrid, Spain. The spatial evolution of Islamic Palatine Architecture developed in Spain and stressed the importance of facilitating perception of palaces’ original forms. Through virtual 3D and 4D applications it was possible to discover, understand and explore a large number of virtual architectural models, their cultural features and their guiding inspirations.

  • November 2012: Qusayr 'Amra, Jordan: research, conservation, and site management planning activities in an Umayyad princely estate. Lecture by Dr. Gaetano Palumbo, Program Director for North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia at the World Monuments Fund. The Department of Antiquities of Jordan, Italian National Institute for Conservation and World Monuments Fund have partnered to conduct conservation, research, and site management planning activities at the World Heritage site of Qusayr 'Amra in the Jordanian badiya. Work at the site is providing new information on the site, from construction techniques to its history and position in the evolution of Early Islamic art.

  • May 2011: Uzbekistan Series. Lectures by Dr. Samia Rab and Dariush Zandi. This series began with Peter Jackson's lecture The Holy City of Bukhara in November 2010. Dr. Samia Rab presented Astronomy, Geometry and Architecture, de-coding the spatial form of the Registan in Samarkand and Dariush Zandi presented Shahr-e Sabz: The Green City.

  • November 2010: Architecture in The Holy City of Bukhara. Lecture by Peter Jackson. A small group from the UAE Architectural Heritage Society spent a week in Samarkand and Bukhara in September 2010. The illustrated lecture described the architecture and urban fabric of Bukhara, one of the key cities on the Central Asian Silk Road. Bukhara is becoming more accessible, and its exceptionally beautiful Islamic monuments now attract visitors from the East and the West.

  • March 2009: Manah: A Gift from God. The Architecture of a Deserted Omani Settlement. Lecture by Professor Soumyen Bandyopadhyay, Professor of Archtecture and Design at Nottingham Trent University. Harat al-Bilad, the key settlement in the Oasis of Manah has remained the focus of Professor Bandyopadhyay's study and has led to plans for the restoration of the town. The lecture and accompanying exhibition illustrated for future designers the historical importance of the context within which their designs may exist, flourish and perish. Today's architecture is tomorrow's heritage resource.

  • February 2009: The Protection of Cultural Landscapes in the Abu Dhabi Emirate. Lecture by Dr. Beech. Dr. Beech has been involved with archaeological excavations and survey in the Gulf Region for over 15 years, including being involved in the excavations of the Nestorian Church and monastery of 7th to 8th centuries AD from Sir Bani Yas Island. This talk gave an overview of these findings and highlights some of the ongoing strategies, methods and proposals being adopted by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage for the preservation of these important cultural landscapes in the emirate.

  • April 2007: A journey into the Persian architecture and gardens. Lecture by Frank Farrokh Sabouri, AIA, LEED, AP, Archi-tect/planner consultant with the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

  • March 2007: Architecture is for People. Lecture by Simon Fraser, B.Arch (Hons), Dip. Arch, M. Arch, RIBA, ARB. Managing Director of Hopkins Architects, Dubai. Simon talked about his philosophy and approach to designing architecture for people.

  • November 2006: Beyond Architectural Photography. Lecture by Dariush Zandi.

  • Symmetry and Beauty in Art and Nature and Beauty patterns from Egypt to the 20th Century. Challenges of the University in the 21st Century. Lecture by Professor Manuel J. Tello, Physics Professor in the Vasc Country University (Universidad del País Vasco- Bilbao) and Physics Professor in the University of Granada.


  • April 2019: The Growth of Dubai’s Arts & Culture Scene and the Role of Urban Planning. Lecture by Dariush Zandi. Dariush talked about his extensive experience as an urban planner in Dubai, his involvement in and the development of the arts and cultural scene in Dubai, and the impact this scene has had on the growth of the city. This was the second meeting of the UAE Planners Network (UAE PlaN) - a new networking organisation for urban planners in the Middle East. The UAE PlaN is supported by the Royal Town Planning Institute’s International Development Network (RTPI IDN). The lecture took place at the Courtyard.


  • Photography Group Chairman and Committee Member in Dubai Art Center (now known as Dubai International Arts Center) - In 1976, a group of expatriate women gathered together to showcase their artistic talents and the Dubai International Arts Center (DIAC) was born. Today, anyone interested in learning or honing their artistic skills is welcome to enrol in courses that include silk painting, life drawing, sculpture, pottery, decoupage, etching, fashion design, jewellery, ceramics and textiles. The center also offers a number of courses for children, as well as instruction in languages, photography, feng shui and yoga. DIAC houses a gallery as well where many students exhibit their work. Dariush held design and photography courses, and held several art exhibitions of his own.

  • Dubai Gardening Group - This group is passionate about gardening and especially growing vegetables, herbs and fruit trees. Activities include: Meeting up once or twice a month to discuss ideas, swapping heirloom seeds, holding short workshops, visiting gardens, nurseries and farms in the UAE. Dariush gave lectures about his projects, including parks, landscapes and gardens, and hosted fieldtrips.

  • Dubai Sharjah Singers - This musical group was part of the Dubai British Council. Dariush helped with concerts and plays, with regards to their photography, stage design and construction.

  • Committee Member in The American University of Dubai's (AUD) Department of Architecture

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