Designing a new structure or renovating a house? For projects like these, you need an architect – and if you want to get the most bang for your buck, you want to get a great one.
Fortunately, our city has some of the absolute best architects in the world. We went over the options and put together this list of the best architecture firms in Dubai, complete with notes about their strengths and weaknesses.
How much does it cost to hire an architect?
Let me be honest: there is no way to accurately guess just how much you are going to be charged for hiring an architect. Not only would their level of skill come into play, but also the complexity of the job you are hiring them for.
But we’ll do our best to break things down for you. The information below should still be able to give you an idea of just how much you’re going to shell out for an architect’s time and service.
- Architects may charge in percentage according to construction cost
|Basic new construction||8-10%|
|Basic new construction with cabinetry||Up to 12%|
|Basic new construction with cabinetry and electrical planning||Up to 13%|
|Basic new construction with cabinetry, electrical planning, and bidding||Up to 14%|
|Basic new construction with cabinetry, electrical planning, bidding, construction admin, and project management||More or less 19%|
|Remodeling with cabinetry||Up to 14%|
|Remodeling with cabinetry and electrical planning||Up to 15%|
|Remodeling with cabinetry, electrical planning, and bidding||Up to 16%|
|Remodeling with cabinetry, electrical planning, bidding, construction admin, and project management||Up to 20%|
- Let’s say your entire new home build cost is $200,000 (734,640 AED)
8% x $200,000 = $16,000 (58,770 AED)
10% x $200,000 = $20,000 (73,460 AED)
This means that you will have to add $16,000-$20,000 to your overall expenses for your architect’s professional fee. But again, it’s only an estimate, so bear that in mind.
- Architects may charge per hour
|Per Hour USD||Per Hour AED (Rounded off)|
|Intern Architect II||90||330|
|Intern Architect I||45||165|
Things to note:
- A principal architect is, most of the time, the owner of the firm.
- A project manager has 10 years of experience or more.
- An intern architect II has 6 to 8 years of experience.
- An intern architect I has 3 to 5 years of experience.
- Architects paid by the hour are not common. This is the best option for projects that are either small or those with an unclear time frame.
- An architect will charge for drawing plans/design
An architect’s plan will cost anywhere from $1200-$8000 depending on the complexity of the design you are requesting and the size of the property.
The Best Architecture Firms in Dubai
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s go see what Dubai has to offer when it comes to the best architecture firms.
1. Whitespace Architects
|Address:||Office 1910, Bayswater Tower, Business Bay, Dubai|
|Contacts:||+04-44516868 | [email protected]|
|Notable Projects:||Masdar City Small Square, Dubai Creek Harbour Towers, Um Suqeim Showroom, Abu Soma Residences|
Starting our list is a growing group of architects, designers, engineers, and builders. Whitespace Architects may only have ten years of experience, but they are already getting projects all over Europe and the Middle East.
For anyone looking to have a contemporary house or building design, this company would be the perfect fit. Their designs appear to be inclined more towards modern luxury and urban planning.
With over 40 architects, you won’t run out of options for style and design. However, it would be best to make it clear from the start who is going to be handling your project among them, as they may choose someone who doesn’t perfectly line up with your style.
One of their biggest projects is Masdar City, a sustainable hub for research and innovation. But it’s not just big projects that this firm accepts.
They also design residential spots and private properties like the Al Barsha Compound Villas and the Jubail Palace, where one can see a hint of tradition underneath the contemporary designs.
Just an added note: this company commits 10% of its gross revenues to research. If you hire them, you know that part of your money will be going to a greater cause.
“Best office in the Middle East and Europe. Very nice management and team. Beautiful work. Highly recommended!” – King Mine
A high level of experience.
“Consultants with a high level of experience!” – Nora Khalil
2. Dewan Architects + Engineers
|Address:||PO Box 60990, Building 5B, 4th Floor, Dubai Design District|
|Contacts:||+971-42402010 | [email protected]|
|Notable Projects:||Parklane Townhouses, Port De La Mer, Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Dora University Accommodation|
From designs inspired by Mediterranean architecture to some of the ancient wonders of the world, Dewan Architects + Engineers can make it happen. This multi-awarded architectural firm has done everything from low-rise residential to public spaces.
This should be one of the best options if you’re looking for an architecture firm that knows how to do big projects that have sustainability incorporated in designs.
This company also utilizes BIM, or Building Information Modeling, which allows their clients to experience what the finished space will look and feel like. This allows for any changes to be made even before the construction begins.
They also require their architects and engineers to be LEED-accredited. This certifies that their professionals place great importance upon sustainability and environmental impact when drawing up designs.
Most importantly, cost estimating is an integral part of their transactions with their clients. They have contract documentation in place with cost control and planning to make sure that their clients are on top of their expenses and that they stay within the budget.
Because of their structure, it would make more sense to hire this company for a complete top-to-bottom design instead of just, say, remodeling only your kitchen.
Reputable and respectable.
“Reputable and respectable company with nice and humble people and good working environment!” – Mahmoud Charif
“Amazing company with very good architectural designs.” – Shaimaa Hassan
|Address:||Office 501, 5th Flr, Building 4, Dubai Design District PO Box 333244, Dubai|
|Notable Projects:||Parklane Townhouses, Port De La Mer, Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Dora University Accommodation|
Considered one of the largest architecture firms and urban planning networks in the world, it’s no surprise that this company made it on our list. RMJM has established a name in the architectural world, having been in the business since 1951.
Right off the bat, this firm is used to handling big projects. Radisson Blue, HSBC, Dubai Bank, and Trident Hotels are just a few of the names they are affiliated with.
RMJM is also big on landscape architecture. Uniworld City, a massive residential unit in Kolkata, India was built with the specific climatic conditions of the area and its regional identity.
However, with all these achievements under their belt, it’s almost a guarantee that hiring them for small-scale work like a house renovation is not going to be worth the cost. Better to leave them for massive projects like the Marina Heights Tower.
If your project is a big one or one that demands landscape architecture expertise, though, we can recommend them easily.
A world-class design firm.
“A world-class design firm in the heart of Dubai’s Design District!” – Zaheer Abbas Karim
Local knowledge combined with international experience.
“Dedicated staff. Local knowledge combined with international experience is a winning combination.” – Raymond Crane
|Address:||Office B506, Building 4, Dubai Design District PO Box 333244, Dubai|
|Notable Projects:||Iraq Pavilion at Expo 2020, AMH Terraces, Voxel Tower|
What do you get when you cross an artist and a builder? You get an architect with a taste for the avant-garde style.
Raya Ani, the founder and the design director of RAW-NYC, is a multidisciplinary, multi-awarded architect and urban designer. Her fresh, innovative style brings to the present a glimpse of the future.
Her design of the Iraq Pavilion at Expo 2020 is truly a sight to behold. She is considered one of the topmost influential architects in the Middle East.
If you’re looking for a designer with ideas that are out-of-the-box or those that add a little twist to our current definition of modernity, RAW-NYC has got you covered. They welcome projects both large and small, too.
However, their artistic approach to their designs may be too artistic for, let’s say, a simple home that you wanted to have built. You can always have the design altered, of course.
But the artistic expression of a visionary like Raya Ani is best left as is, and not watered down. And so it’s better to hire her to oversee projects where her style is much fitting.
Besides, should you ever need an engineer, you may have to hire externally as the firm only has architects so far.
Lastly, their website could use a little work. A great majority of the people use the Internet as a resource when checking out potential architects like her.
Navigating her website could be tricky, especially for older, potential clients. Again, this is most likely her artistic side showing.
A visionary founder.
“A great design firm with a visionary founder. Ideal for the ones who are interested in exceptional buildings, master plans, and interior architecture! Original designs with attention to every aspect of their buildings from design to construction.” – M Rikabi
Very creative designs.
“Love her designs. Very creative, thoughtful, efficient, flexible and can express what clients need and aspire to be.” – Raymond Crane
5. T.ZED Architects
|Address:||D3, Dubai Design District, Building 4, Dubai|
|Contacts:||+971-43684007 | [email protected]|
|Notable Projects:||Koa Sales Office, Akin Barber Shop, Juma Mosque|
Sleek, modern, and clean—the T.Zed Architects’ taste for aesthetics is one that won’t go out of style.
They’ve done a fair number of projects that range from commercial spaces like a barbershop and a cafe to religious structures like the Juma Mosque.
In every design, they applied a simplistic style that is bright, modern, and inviting. It appears that they know how to take full advantage of natural lighting.
They also seem to be one of the few choices that are not that intimidating to hire for a small project like a home renovation.
And while T.Zed Architects has only been around for six years or so, their founder and director, Tarik Al Zaharna, has been working for far longer. He’s worked in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.
The firm has plenty of architects from different backgrounds and varying skills. It will not be that hard to find someone who’s perfectly suited for your needs.
“Friendly staff and very efficient in their work. The office has a good vibe,” – Huug
FAQs about the Best Architecture Firms in Dubai
And there you have it, our list of the best architecture firms in Dubai! Now that you have your construction going, how about reading up about the top providers for the best artificial grass in Dubai?