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ZHA opens Dubai office, with Foster set to follow suit

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Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has opened a new office in Dubai, while Foster + Partners is expected to open its base in the emirate in January

Both studios will be based in the emerging Dubai Design District, also known as d3, a purpose-built hub for creatives, artists and designers in the region.

ZHA’s office in the district opened its doors today (7 November). Foster + Partners’ outpost is scheduled for an inauguration in January 2017.

A ZHA spokesperson said: ‘[Our] new office within the Dubai Design District continues our longstanding commitment to the region. With 30 years’ experience in the Middle East and north Africa, ZHA is collaborating with visionary clients throughout the region on 16 transformational projects.

‘Marrying concepts of connectivity with the tremendous advancements in design technologies, material development and construction practices, ZHA is working with the many diverse histories and cultures of the region to address important issues in a meaningful way that will contribute to the development of more ecologically sustainable and integrated built environments.’

Foster + Partners, which saw its workload in the Middle East almost double from £57 million to £100 million in the year ending 30 April 2016, is designing the 300,000m² second phase of the Dubai Design District.

Set for completion in 2017, the scheme includes flexible offices, co-working spaces, outdoor display venues and exhibition spaces. The third phase will include hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities.

Foster + Partners executive partner Gerard Evenden said that the opening of the practice’s new office in the city reflected its ‘commitment and belief in Dubai as a centre for design and innovation’. 

He said: ‘Dubai is emerging as a global hub for the design and construction industry, exemplified by the varied scope and breadth of our projects in the region.’ 

Foster + Partners is also working on a 43,000m² office and shopping scheme, featuring a 53-storey skyscraper, in Dubai’s International Financial Centre with a planned completion date of 2018.

The Dubai Design District, close to Mohammed Bin Rashid City and Dubai’s Business Bay, is being built in three phases, the first of which was completed in 2015 and comprises 11,1484m² of office space and 18,581m² of retail space.

Spanish architectural practice Santiago Calatrava is also planning to open its first Dubai office in the design district, while retail specialist Benoy relocated its 20-strong Dubai office to the creative hub in September. 


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