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The Big 5 Impact Awards

Recognising sustainable development, technological, and digital achievements in the construction industry.

Abdulla Balalaa

Executive Director, Sustainable Real Estate | Masdar

Abdulla Balalaa is a qualified Commercial Director, Civil Engineer and Urban Planner with extensive experience in project and operational planning across many government sectors. He has managed a range of sustainable urban developments, providing strategic leadership for large projects with a particular emphasis on the planning, infrastructure, transport and safety & security aspects of their delivery.

Today, Mr. Balalaa is responsible for the sustainable growth of Masdar City, ensuring real estate investments are coordinated and operated in a sustainable and profitable manner, as per the approved Masdar City master plan and in compliance with sustainability requirements.

Before he joined Masdar, Mr. Balalaa worked as a Commercial Director for Etihad Rail with special responsibility for managing key accounts and the Business Development team. Prior to this, he was Planning Department Manager for the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, leading an urban development applications review team and a stakeholder interface facilitation team.

Mr. Balalaa also served as Engineer Officer at the Engineering Projects department at the Abu Dhabi Police GHQ, where he was responsible for delivering multiple projects for the police across the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

His achievements include being a Team Leader in the Planning & Infrastructure sector for the UAE 2021 Plan for the UAE Ministry of Cabinet Affairs. Mr. Balalaa also served as a member of the official UAE delegation at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

Mr. Balalaa is a member of the International Association for Public Transport (UITP), the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the American Planning Association, the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP), and the Emirati-Korean Friendship Society.

Mr. Balalaa was awarded a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Paris Sorbonne University. He holds a Leadership Excellence Applied Diploma (LEAD) co-validated by the University of Cambridge Abu Dhabi and a Bachelor’s Degree in applied science Civil Engineering from the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi.



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