Organised by BNC Publishing and Design Middle East, the inaugural Architecture Leaders Awards 2021 acknowledged and rewarded the exceptional architects, projects, and firms in the region. The gala award ceremony took place on March 31 at Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk. There were 19 award categories that were given solely on merit and were awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work, distinguishing them from their competitors and proving them worthy of recognition.

Michelle Najm, JT+Partners, said: “It’s such a great honour to be recognised amongst your peers. It’s the result of a lot of hard work.”

Najm studied Architecture at the Lebanese University of Fine Arts in Beirut. Her professional journey started when she received the prestigious Rifat Chadirji Award for young graduates in Architecture on my Final project, Najm’s career started at an early stage when she joined Al Salaam International Group for her first paid internship back in 2006. Determined for ongoing progress, she joined JAR Group Architectural Design Team. This is where she developed her first skills as the only woman to work amongst 12 male architects. She was involved in projects across the Middle East and Africa, mainly in the residential, governmental, and commercial sectors. Deep down, Najm always wanted more and go beyond boundaries, so she decided to travel abroad.

In search of new opportunities, Najm joined JT+Partners Design team in Dubai in 2015. At first it was particularly challenging to work in a completely new environment away from family and friends. Nevertheless, working with a multi-cultural team (16 nationalities) and learning from experienced colleagues around, she was involved in projects from inception to completion and this is when she discovered and unlocked her true potentials.