25 best architecture firms in Dubai

25 best architecture firms in Dubai

14 Feb 2024  •  News  •  By Surabhi Patil

Innovation and futuristic vision define architecture in Dubai. The city's skyline, a panorama of towers, is a reflection of human aspiration, soaring to new heights and new forms of urban dynamism. Home to both local offices as well as regional headquarters for many of the architecture industry's powerhouse firms, the city is a melting pot of ideas and expertise from across the globe. This mix of design studios enriches Dubai's urban fabric by infusing projects with diverse perspectives and shaping its ever-changing identity. This collaborative spirit underscores Dubai's status as a cultural crossroads where creativity flourishes without constraint. The 25 architecture firms listed below are the motors behind the city's relentless evolution.



photo_credit Fernando Guerra
Fernando Guerra

1. X-Architects

X-Architects, established in 2003 by principal architects Ahmed Al-Ali and Farid Esmaeil, is a forward-thinking architectural studio. With a deep appreciation for Arab Culture, the firm strives to infuse contemporary design with cultural richness. At X-Architects, design is viewed as a dynamic process, with an emphasis on adaptability and contextuality. Through a thoughtful and critical approach, the firm navigates the complexities of modern construction to create culturally resilient, site-responsive, and eco-conscious projects.



photo_credit Natelee Cocks
Natelee Cocks

2. LW Design Group

LW Design Group, with offices in Dubai, Hong Kong, and São Paulo, is renowned for its award-winning contribution to the hospitality sector, known for enhancing guest experiences in hotels, restaurants, and bars. Founded in 1999, LW Design Group boasts an impressive client roster and a portfolio of over 60 hotels and 200 restaurants/bars. Led by Founder & CEO Jesper Godsk and Founding partners Colin Doyle and Finn Theilgaard, LW Design Group employs over 140 professionals globally, serving major clients such as Hyatt, Marriott/Starwood, Hilton, IHG, Accor Group, Raffles/Fairmont, Rotana Group, Four Seasons, Shangri La, Jumeirah Group, and Emirates Airlines.




3. Killa Design

Award-winning architectural firm Killa Design, primarily operating in the Middle East, provides creative and sustainable design solutions. With over 25 years of experience, co-founder and architect Shaun Killa leads a diverse team of architects, designers, and project managers. Its noteworthy projects include the Museum of the Future, Office of the Future, Vida Marina, and Address Beach Resort.



photo_credit Chris Goldstraw
Chris Goldstraw

4. Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners, founded by the visionary Norman Foster in 1967, has spearheaded sustainable architecture, urban planning, engineering, and design globally. With nearly two decades of experience in the United Arab Emirates, the firm's contribution includes iconic structures such as The Index, a landmark completed in 2004, as well as exemplary passive buildings like The Masdar Institute, a pioneer in solar-powered education, the innovative House of Wisdom library, and the recently completed Lana Dorchester hotel and residences.



photo_credit Oculis Project
Oculis Project

5. Roar (formerly Pallavi Dean Interiors)

Roar, an architecture and interior design studio in Dubai, was established in 2013 by architect Pallavi Dean. With over 84 completed projects spanning the region, the studio's portfolio includes notable works like SensAsia Spa at The Kempinski Hotel Dubai, McKinsey & Co. offices, The Nursery of the Future, and several upscale private residences. The firm has been recognised with prestigious awards, including CID Middle East Boutique Design Firm of the Year and global Emerging Designer of the Year at the Frame Awards in Amsterdam.



photo_credit Chris Goldstraw
Chris Goldstraw

6. GAJ | Godwin Austen Johnson

Headquartered in the UAE, Godwin Austen Johnson has dedicated divisions for architecture, interior design, and MEP. The award-winning multidisciplinary practice, which employs over 110 people from over 20 different countries, specialises in hospitality, education, commercial, residential, and master planning throughout the Middle East and North Africa. GAJ has built some of the most iconic structures in the UAE throughout 30+ years of history, such as Bab Al Shams' Arabian Court Residence & Spa and Dubai's Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.



photo_credit JILL

7. Etereo Design

Etereo Design emerges from a fusion of Italian heritage and Middle Eastern influences, guided by architectural expertise and an unwavering passion. The firm creates spaces that ignite creativity, transcending project briefs to encapsulate the essence of human experience. Etereo Design's projects weave narratives of culture, emotions, and aspirations, offering transformative journeys that encourage self-expression and innovation.



photo_credit Palladium Photodesign - Oliver Schuh + Barbara Burg
Palladium Photodesign - Oliver Schuh + Barbara Burg

8. Calatrava International

Santiago Calatrava, renowned for his revolutionary work in architecture and engineering, has garnered worldwide acclaim for his innovative contributions to the field. Since its establishment in 1983 in Zurich, Calatrava International has undertaken projects spanning the globe, from the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro to railway stations in Liège, Belgium, and Lisbon. The company has offices in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates and has built notable structures like the UAE Pavilion at Expo 2020 and the Dubai Creek Tower.



photo_credit SOM

9. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

With a legacy extending for more than eight decades, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has stood as a trailblazer in interdisciplinary design long before the notion became commonplace. SOM's extensive experience in the Middle East spans nearly six decades, marked by over 180 projects, many of which are iconic landmarks like the Burj Khalifa and the Emirates Building. Each project integrates energy-efficient design elements tailored to the region's climate while honoring Islamic architectural traditions.



photo_credit Fernando Guerra
Fernando Guerra


With offices in Dubai and London, ANARCHITECT is a distinguished boutique architecture and design practice. The British and RIBA-chartered architect Jonathan Ashmore founded the company in 2013, and its area of expertise lies in projects revolving around materiality, workmanship, and detail. With an emphasis on research, conceptualization, and details, ANARCHITECT provides services in architecture, interior design, and furniture design. The studio has won acclaim from all over the world for its work on residential, hotel, and commercial projects in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.



photo_credit Alex Jeffries
Alex Jeffries

11. Bishop Design

Operating in Miami and Dubai, Bishop Design is an interior design company run by Paul Bishop. Since its founding in 2004, the company has been involved in interior projects all around the world, amassing a sizable portfolio in the retail, hospitality, commercial, and residential domains. In addition to being named Interior Design Firm of the Year and Interior Designer of the Year for Paul Bishop, the firm has won over a hundred regional and international accolades. Through its subdivision, Rogue by Bishop Design, the firm offers comprehensive services in interior design, architecture, brand ideation, food and beverage consultancy, photography, and videography.




12. dwp | design worldwide partnership

With a foundational belief that architecture and design excel in simplicity, elegance, and timelessness, design worldwide partnership (dwp) has been a prominent global architecture and design firm for 25 years. Embracing an entrepreneurial ethos, dwp strives to explore new frontiers and embrace challenges. Utilizing cutting-edge collaborative, sustainable, and creative design technology, dwp has won several accolades. The firm currently operates in Australia, Asia, and the Middle East.



photo_credit Courtesy of Art Jameel. Photography by Laurian Ghinitoiu
Courtesy of Art Jameel. Photography by Laurian Ghinitoiu

13. waiwai

waiwai is a multidisciplinary design studio operating in architecture, landscape, urban, interior, and graphic design, with offices in Dubai and Tokyo. Led by Wael Al Awar and Kazuma Yamao, the firm has been involved in cultural projects worldwide, including the Jameel Arts Centre and Hai d3 in Dubai, CICOL and Otaru Harbor Café in Japan, and Jeddah’s Hayy Jameel. Notably, its project Wetland at the National Pavilion of the UAE received the Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2021. 



photo_credit Natelee Cocks
Natelee Cocks

14. C'est ici Design

Established in 2017 by Monica Arango, a Colombian entrepreneur, Dubai-based interdisciplinary studio C'est ici Design has quickly distinguished itself with its minimalistic approach to design. In response to the demand for custom furniture, the firm launched Cèst ici Bespoke in 2020, offering custom-designed pieces characterized by uniqueness and craftsmanship. From upholstery to carpentry, the specialized division caters to clients seeking one-of-a-kind furnishings. What began as a local venture has evolved into a comprehensive luxury interior design firm, boasting a diverse portfolio of residential and commercial projects spanning the UAE, GCC, and Levant regions in just four years.



photo_credit Chandan Sojitra
Chandan Sojitra

15. Designsmith

Designsmith is an award-winning architecture, interior design, and construction firm known for its human-centric approach to creating functional design solutions across commercial, hospitality, retail, Food & Beverage, and residential projects.



photo_credit Oculis Project
Oculis Project


At VSHD Design, the team believes in the transformative power of architecture and interior design to rejuvenate spaces, infusing them with tranquility, beauty, and understated luxury. Founded by Architect Rania Hamed, the firm has offices in Dubai and Montreal. Specializing in both residential and commercial projects, VSHD Design has projects spanning across the globe, from Florida to London, Cairo, Amman, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.



photo_credit Ingrid Rasmussen
Ingrid Rasmussen

17. H2R Design

H2R Design, a multi-award-winning design firm based in London and Dubai, was founded by Hasan and Husain Roomi. Supported by a globally experienced team, H2R Design specializes in the hospitality, F&B, and retail sectors. Employing a total concept approach, the firm merges various design disciplines to encapsulate brand essence through identity, architecture, and interior design.



photo_credit Alex Jefferies
Alex Jefferies

18. IAIA - Idea Art Interior Architects

Idea Art Interior Architects (IAIA) is headquartered in Dubai. The firm works with international clients across various sectors including residential, hospitality, retail, and corporate spaces. From homes and villas to resorts, restaurants, cafes, and workplaces, IAIA has undertaken diverse projects of varying scales, delivering cutting-edge design solutions. Its comprehensive services include design consultancy, architectural consultancy, and project management.



photo_credit James Stevenson - H2 Productions
James Stevenson - H2 Productions

19. LXA

LXA is propelled by a dynamic environment, challenges, and action rather than words. Providing a wide range of services like project management, strategy, concept development, interior design, procurement, branding, and operational support the firm has expertise in the hospitality, commercial, residential, and educational sectors. With offices in London, Dubai, Manchester, Bangalore, and Riyadh, it caters to clients across the UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Africa.




20. DP Architects

DP Architects is a prominent multidisciplinary design firm based in Asia, boasting a global presence with 16 offices and a workforce of over 1,200 professionals. Established in 1967, the firm has amassed a rich portfolio spanning diverse projects such as Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay, The Dubai Mall, and Resorts World Sentosa. 




21. Studio M

Founded in 2007 by Abboud Malak, Studio M is a distinguished multidisciplinary Interior Design firm. Specializing in moody and immersive design, Malak infuses each project with a timeless sense of mastery, forming distinctive relationships with clients to create spaces that transcend mere aesthetics and deeply engage individuals. With expertise in interior architecture, project management, and supervision, Studio M delivers unparalleled design experiences.



photo_credit Marjorie Bruyere
Marjorie Bruyere

22. Gianni Ranaulo Design

Gianni Ranaulo, an Italian architect and designer, made his mark internationally after relocating to Paris in 1989. Renowned for his innovative approach, he participated in competitions across France and the USA. From 1994, Ranaulo spearheaded the development of LightArchitecture, blending virtual and real-world elements. Establishing offices in London, Rome, and Milan, he propagated his groundbreaking concepts. Through lectures, publications, and exhibitions, Ranaulo shared his insights globally. Collaborating with Cirque du Soleil's Franco Dragone, he shaped studios in Dubai and contributed to show concepts worldwide. In 2007, Ranaulo opened his Dubai office, overseeing diverse projects.



photo_credit Chiara Cadeddu Photography
Chiara Cadeddu Photography

23. The Niu Studio

NIU Studio, a boutique architecture and interior design firm, boasts multiple awards for its exceptional work. Operating from Dubai, the studio specializes in crafting bespoke projects in residential, commercial, and retail sectors across the UAE and globally. With roots in Italy, Niu Studio exudes creativity, knowledge, and experience, delivering luxury architecture and interiors grounded in superior design principles. Inspired by Italian craftsmanship, the studio prioritizes sustainable materials and innovative design solutions.




24. SOMA

SOMA, founded in 2004 in New York, aims to combine environmental awareness, digital technology, and skilled workmanship in its designs. The company has established a global footprint, working on projects in places such as New York, Dubai, California, Doha, Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, and Lebanon. Specializing in luxury residential, hospitality, commercial, and mixed-use developments, SOMA seamlessly integrates highly skilled design architects with local market expertise in building codes, construction documentation, and supervision.



photo_credit Alex Jeffries Photography Group
Alex Jeffries Photography Group

25. MEAN* Middle East Architecture Network

MEAN* (Middle East Architecture Network) is a forward-thinking architecture firm that operates at the intersection of design and emerging technologies. Utilizing advanced computational design processes and digital fabrication tools, MEAN* enhances the quality of architectural solutions. The practice integrates computer programming, robotics, 3D printing, AR, VR, and CNC manufacturing to optimize its work. With a mission to blend computation, material research, and digital fabrication, MEAN* delivers interdisciplinary solutions that address contemporary economic, environmental, and social challenges.



The '25 best firms' series is curated by the Archello editorial team. The selection is based on a number of factors including the number of shortlisted and winning entries in the Archello Awards, the number of projects a firm has uploaded to its Archello profile, the number of projects that have been featured by Archello, as well as the size and quality of the projects included in each firm's Archello portfolio.