School of the Built Environment



    Globalization and urban development in Saudi Arabia: Place branding in new economic cities

    Completed his PhD in 2016.

    Turk Shoaib is a Saudi Arabian Architect and licensed Business and Marketing Consultant based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture (1994) and an MBA from the United States (1997). He is now in his final year of the Ph.D. program in the School of the Built Environment, concentrating on Place Branding, Globalization and Urban Development in the Middle East. 

    His research focuses on the development of brands for places that do not yet exist and in countries that do not follow western norms. It explores the policies, representations, and narratives of urban form that are being used in an attempt to shed light on the use of branding as an integral part of the urban development process. As the situation in the Middle East is quite complex, the study uses Actor-network Theory (ANT) to trace the interplay between power and identity for both human and non-human actors that affect the branding of these cities from a governance, management, and social perspective. Ultimately the research explores how Actor-network theory can be used to unravel the link between power and identity and how identity can then be used to brand a new city as it is being developed. It goes further to highlight the shift from human to non-human actors as a new city brand develops and is traced over time. Furthermore the case study in Saudi Arabia highlights the opportunities and pitfalls associated with place branding in the Middle East while comparing the findings with traditional place branding approaches in existing cities.

    Since returning to Saudi Arabia in 1997, he has focused on Real Estate pre-development studies, project branding, and Smart City solutions. In the last 17 years he has been involved in a variety of projects in the GCC, Turkey, Cyprus, the UK and China. Turk was raised and educated in the United States, is fluent in Arabic, and has a strong understanding of the Middle Eastern culture and the Real Estate Development environment in the region.

    "I think it’s an excellent course that provides the support, resources, training and environment needed for postgraduate students to succeed." Turk Shoaib