Prof. Dr. Sonja Nebel (Gutech)
Principle Investigator
Focus: urban development and management

Dr. Sonja Nebel graduated from RWTH Aachen / Germany. She earned her PhD at the same university. Sonja has been teaching for more than 25 years at different universities in Europe and in Arab Countries in the field of urban design, urban planning and urban conservation.

Sonja has focused for many years on cross cultural and interdisciplinary scientific research on urbanization and housing, such as: „Urbanization processes and transforming housing patterns“, (Zambia, Bolivia, Thailand), „Informal Housing“ (Syria), „Megacities – Megachallenge: Informal Dynamics of Global Change“ (China).

Furthermore, she works as a consultant within the international development cooperation in the field of urban development and urban management, sustainable urban conservation, strategic and participatory planning.

Dr. Aurel von Richthofen
Focus: urban modeling and simulation, conference organization and publication

Dr. Aurel von Richthofen is a senior researcher and principle investigator at the Singapore-​ETH Centre, where he researches topics related to computational urban design, urban sustainability, and urban design education. From 2010 to 2014 he was faculty at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech). He earned doctorate in engineering with a thesis on Spatial Diversity and Sustainable Urbanisation in Oman, Institute for Sustainable Urbanism, Technische Universität Braunschweig in 2019. He is a registered architect, urban designer, and experienced educator. His various projects can be seen here:

Prof. Dr. Awni Shabaan (SQU)
Co-Principle Investigator
Focus: climate responsive urban development and design

Dr. Awni Shabaan earned his PhD at Texas A&M University. He holds a Master Degree from the University of California. Awni taught at various universities from Bagdad to Bahrain before joining Sultan Qaboos University. He is Professor of Architecture with long-standing experience in solar design, climatic modelling with special emphasis on the Environmental Impact on Architecture in Yemen. He has an impressive record of practical architectural projects as well as scientific publications.

Prof. Dr. Alaa Mandour (SQU)
Focus: planning law, building regulations, urban design

Dr. Alaa Mandour earned his PhD at Cairo University and holds two Master Degrees from MIT and Cairo University. His academic experience includes teaching courses on architectural programming, design methods and theories, his courses place emphasis on recent developments in architecture and urbanism in different contexts, typological transformations in traditional architecture / urban spaces, sustainable design processes, assessing designed environments from users‘ perspective, and diversity in urban spaces.

Participants of Urban Oman Conference 2014: Anne Eaton, Maryam Zargar, Sara Abdelaal, Sonja Nebel, Al Salmi, Aurel von Richthofen, Yassine Moustanjidi,, Marike Bontenbal

Participants of the conference „Challenges for Urbanization in the Gulf Countries“ held 2014 at GUtech in Oman.


Dipl. Ing. Anne Eaton (RWTH Aachen)
Focus: rural development and planning, feld studies, surveys, head of exhibition team

M. Arch. Hamad Al Gharibi (Ministry of Housing), Research Assistant
Focus: surveys, field studies, governance and planning

B. Arch. Haitham Al Busafi, Research Technician
Focus: mapping, visualization, publication lay-out

B. Arch. Maryam Zargar Yaghoubi, Research Assistant
Focus: sustainable urbanism, analysis and data processing, conference assistant

B. Arch. Aysha Farooq, Research Technician
Focus: publication lay-out

M. Sc. Sara Mohamed Abdelaal, Research Technician
Focus: research assistance, mapping, analysis and data processing

B. Sc. Sebastian Langer, Geographer
Focus: urban geography, GIS mapping

B. Sc. Rafal Korzeniewski, Computer Science
Focus: Conference Website Programming

Ahmed Al Amri, Talal Al Omairi, Aysha Farooq, Rania Ezzat, Nushrat Jahan, Romana Othman, Ruaa El Zain, Maysai Al Mandhari, Maryam Al Taei, Talal Al Haremi, Kinan Marei; Student Technical Assistants (GUtech) 2010 — 2013
Focus: assisting field work, mapping, interviews


Dr. Marike Bontenbal GUtech
Focus: Urban Geography

Dr. Claudia Kruschwitz RWTH Aachen
Focus: Urban Infrastructure

Dr. Astrid Ley TU Berlin
Focus: Urban Governance

Dr. Slim Zekry SQU
Focus: Economy and Agriculture

Hassan Al Salmi, Asst. D.G of Town Planning at Ministry of Housing
Focus: Urban Planning and Governance

Alessia Pegorin, M. Arch
Focus: Mapping, analytical drawings, urban design

Riccardo del Fabbro, M. Arch
Focus: Mapping, analytical drawings, urban design

Independent studies and design projects:

Sara Mohamed Abdelaal, Carolina Hernandez, Sam Soloman
TU Berlin M. Sc. Candidates 2013

Sandra Schilling, Stephie Pfenninger
ETH Zurich Dipl.-Arch. Candidates 2013

Julia Haun, Elvir Kastrati, Aleksandar Klisarov, Polina Nyagolova, Roman Claudio Schmitt, Linda Joana Merk, Zubair Roia Zabuly, Sofiya Vancheva
RWTH Aachen M. Sc. / Dipl.-Ing. Candidates, 2014