Dubai architects look ahead 10 years to predict the future of architecture

2027 may feel as though it’s far away, but in Dubai, time seems to move a lot faster than elsewhere. Citywide events are always around the corner, megaprojects seem to be revealed every month and future plans are announced at least quarterly. It’s a vibrant place that is, quite frankly, unlike any other city, writes Rima Alsammarae, editor of Middle East Architect.

More often than not, architects move to Dubai because it allows them a creative freedom they can’t find elsewhere. Muhammad Habsah, architect at Dar Al-Handasah, confirmed just that, after he explained his decision to leave Cairo and relocate to the Emirate. “I’ve been here for three years,” he told us, “but every day I come to love it a little more.”

And despite Dubai’s quickly filling skyline, the city is always open to new projects, and new stamps. It welcomes innovation and ingenuity like kindred spirits who’ve been apart for too long. That’s why looking 10 years ahead is an insightful exercise. It opens us up to new conversations, and even sheds like on what’s happening now.

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While Brian Johnson from GAJ, for example, is looking forward to the current work being done with nanotechnology, which could revolutionise construction and architecture, Phillip Jones from B+H Architects foresees a ‘Gold Coast of Arabia’ stretching across the UAE.

“There’s a big story happening with the Hyperloop,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of coast line from Ras Al Khaimah up to the Saudi border that’s yet to be developed. It’s going to be a coastal megalopolis. And I think that’s what their ultimate goal is — to become to this coastal resort community.”

 Joe Tabet from JT+Partners imagines a whole new world. For him, cities like Dubai will be preparing for a new urban gird – one that will ultimately be affected and led by advancements made in technology and transportation, like the flying drone taxis (to be tested later this year). And he’s not the only one – it seems that many architects in the region see the coming impact that other sectors will soon have on the architectural fabric of the city.

“Look at what’s happened to Dubai in the last 15 years,” said Tabet. “If we stick to this rhythm and direction then we can achieve anything.”

The completed essays will be featured in Middle East Architect’s July issue and published on designMENA next month. 

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