In response to growing appetites by local clients for pioneering progressive designs, and expectations for more responsive and environmentally sensitive development, the Gulf region and especially the UAE has seen the emergence of a new generation of noteworthy and iconic developments designed by international architects.
While there is no doubt that innovative, modern design and up-to-date technology is a good starting point for a successful project, however the appointment of a ‘big name’ architectural practice does not necessarily guarantee the success of a project and ultimately business growth. Moreover, in an environment, culture and economy as diverse as the Middle East, international consultants cannot simply apply their usual methodologies and expect successful results and local practices alone cannot deliver the dreams of their ambitious and increasingly demanding clients.
From an early stage Diar Consult, which combines Western and Middle Eastern approaches and influences, has embraced the opportunity provided by the dynamic construction environment of the UAE to forge various international partnerships and/or strategic alliances with a number of carefully selected international architects. The key to success is in recognizing where the relevant skills and knowledge lie within the collaborating parties and drawing on the combined resources appropriately and insightfully in order to create a complete, thorough and coordinated set of design documentation. This interaction between local and international firms is a matter of particular interest and a specialty of the practice.
The topic of collaboration and partnership was also taken up by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as a conference theme. In association with UKTI (UK Trade and Investment), it hosted the Working Internationally Conference “Partnering for Success” at RIBA HQ in London in March 2014, aiming to promote, encourage and educate architectural practices to work internationally. Samir Serope Daoud was invited by RIBA to present a talk at the conference, describing Diar Consult’s unique experience in the Gulf region and sharing his insight into successful partnering with an international practice.