Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) announced today the official opening of its new office in Dubai, a move that strengthens the firm’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Located on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai’s main thoroughfare, the office will serve as a regional hub to provide a full range of architecture, design, and planning services. Thomas Behr, SOM Firmwide MENA Managing Partner, will oversee the region, while Uwe Nienstedt, SOM Senior Regional Manager, will lead the office operations in Dubai.
“Our new office allows SOM to build upon decades of experience in the Middle East. By establishing a formal presence in Dubai—an important business center for the region—we are better equipped to serve our local clients, to work with consultants and officials, and to further develop our design and technical expertise specific to the region,” Behr said.
The new Dubai office positions SOM to oversee current MENA projects with additional staff and to generate new project proposal deliverables. In addition to business development and project management capabilities, the office will provide urban planning services through SOM’s City Design Practice.
Having worked in the Middle East for nearly 60 years, SOM has planned, designed and built more than 180 projects there, some of which are among the most iconic and consequential developments in the region. These include the master plan for King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia; the master plan for Bahrain Bay in Manama, Bahrain; Four Seasons Hotel in Manama, Bahrain; Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait City, Kuwait; and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, currently the world’s tallest building. All of these projects respond to the region’s climate, with energy conservation and sun protection strategies incorporated into their design. They provide efficient, modern solutions that reflect the rich traditions of Islamic culture and building design.
SOM continues to shape the region’s rapidly growing cities and world-renowned landmarks. Recent and ongoing MENA projects include the King Abdul Aziz Boulevard Hotels and Serviced Apartments in Mecca, Saudi Arabia; Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Kuwait University Student Activities and Athletic Facilities in Shadadiya, Kuwait; Kuwait University Administration Facilities in Shadadiya, Kuwait; and Mashreq Bank Headquarters in Dubai.
SOM’s work in the Middle East has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Aga Khan Award for King Abdul Aziz International Airport Hajj Terminal in Saudi Arabia, and the American Institute of Architects Honor Award for the National Commercial Bank Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
SOM – Dubai Office
The Maze Tower, Suite 901
Sheikh Zayed Road
PO Box 213806
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
tel: +971 4388 2345
fax: +971 4388 2348
About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. Since its founding more than 80 years ago, SOM has earned a reputation for design excellence with a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries, and has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with nearly 2,000 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, and Mumbai.