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RASHID TAQUI ARCHITECT OF A NEW WORLD While pushing the boundaries of the architectural awareness of our region through the Architecture Plus platform, Mr Rashid Taqui continues to work as an architectural consultant on hand picked unique projects across the world including United Arab Emirates, Greece and Australia and the United Kingdom, among others. His most recent works include the design of the Ajman Chamber of Commerce in the United Arab Emirates, Eco-Living (a cluster of sustainable and eco-friendly housing units), the design of the 5-star Al Maha Resort in Australia and the competition-winning 5-star Bar Salam Hotel located on Dubia’s most historically significant land. While Mr Taqui’s new work continues to win competitions, while his first project designed at the age of 25, continues today to win international awards. After adorning the covers of many international magazines at the time of completion, in 2004, Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa in the Dubai was awarded the National Geographic traveller Award, presented by HM Queen Noor in Washington DC; in 2005 the resort was crowned with the Arab Towns and Cities Award – a recognition of its architecture. In 2007 Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa was the only hotel from Dubai ranked in the top 20 of the Conde Naste Traveller Gold Standards- the most luxurious properties in the MENA region; 2008 saw the resort win at the World Hotel Awards and was recognised by National Geographic as “one of the world’s best ecotourism models” in the same year. Meanwhile the development has been visited by some of the worlds’ best known celebrities and has often been used by various international movies including Syriana starring George Clooney. Designed in 2004 by Mr Taqui, the Timeless Spa at the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa was voted ‘one of the top 10 best spas in the world’ by readers of Conde Naste, within one year of its official opening in 2005!

Mr. Rashid Taqui is a well-known architect and has been working in Dubai since 1996, having moved from England where he qualified. He quickly made his mark in the region: while employed by the architectural firm Schuster Pechtold and Partners he designed and oversaw the execution of the multi-award winning Al Maha Wildlife Desert Resort and Spa at the age of 25 years. Hailed as a landmark development in the Middle East, the success of the Resort catapulted Mr Taqui to the forefront of the profession of architecture in the United Arab Emirates to a level where he was acknowledged locally as “one of the most prominent practicing architects in the UAE”.

the heart of the emerging world with the industrialised nations.

At the age of 27, Mr. Taqui again and still employed by SPP, he was involved in the design of a private development for the ruling family worth AED 70 Million. Searching for a new challenge, at the age of 28 he joined the Italconsult Dubai branch where, in his first year, he successfully project managed another private development, this time in Abu Dhabi for a VIP client and a budget of AED40 million.

With the release of every issue, Architecture Plus quickly established its niche position as the only publication in the world to actively focus on a region readily dismissed by many as ‘the Third World’, ‘the Developing World’ or ‘The Emerging World’ – a region, that we proudly renamed to ‘A New World’. Incorporating countries of the GCC, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, the new title of a ‘New World’ truly reflects and embraces the capabilities, achievements and aspirations of our residents.

The following year Mr. Taqui took a conscious decision to improve his architectural potential by undertaking urban planning and infrastructure related projects. At the age of 29, he project managed multi-million Dirham infrastructure projects such as the Emirates Lakes Development phases 1B &1C to Dubai Internet City Phase 1B while employed by ItalConsult. Not content with these challenges, at the age of 30, Mr. Taqui took on his biggest and personal challenge yet: to create an international dialogue between architects, designers, planners and building professionals from all corners of the world that will help improve the quality the future of the built environment that surrounds us all especially in the emerging world context. The first facet of this mission materialised in 2002, in the form of a quarterly, professional architectural design journal titled Architecture Plus with a mission that promised to connect

“Through Architecture Plus, we raise awareness of the vast amount of potential that exists in our region including architectural excellence, scale of development and the infinite business opportunities”, explains Mr Taqui. “Moreover, we hope this exchange of dialogue will encourage and equip architects and planners with the proper resources and knowledge to design towns and cities of our New World that are contemporary yet sympathetic to the environment and in keeping with their cultural context”, he opines.

By 2003, Architecture Plus had evolved into the much needed platform for many conferences and exhibitions including Cityscape Dubai to springboard from, our writers became speakers and readers became exhibitors – the dialogue had surely started. In 2004 the Architecture Plus platform was pushed to the next level with the launch of the first independent ‘Architecture Plus Awards, Design for a New World’ aimed at recognising architectural achievement in our New World. Over 300 industry professionals attended the event n Dubai. The ultimate mission of Architecture Plus will be the establishment of the Regional Institute for Architects and Designers (RIAD), ‘Architects of a New World’.




and large families. Built on three floors, the villas are expected to retail from AED 15 million – AED 20 million each once complete.

A young and dynamic architect with a clear vision fuelled by passion, ambition and pioneering ideas. Often in leadership roles, self motivation is a key strength coupled with strong leadership qualities, ability to work effectively under pressure, excellent co-ordination and management skills, proven design experience and confidence to effectively interface with people at all levels, clients and contractors alike. A successful track record in design and project management ranging from inception to final completion demonstrates work experience crossing several continents as well as project types including 5-star hotels, boutique resorts, public-scale buildings, commercial housing complexes, individual oneoff exclusive homes, urban design, interior design, furniture and lighting design.


Ajman Chamber of Commerce, Ajman, UAE (competition)


12 Villa Eco-friendly Residential Complex, Dubai, UAE Mr Rashid Taqui is currently involved in the architectural design of a group of 10 threebedroom and two larger, four-bedroom villas grouped together in one unique compound. The project attempts to rationalise the development through a combination of functional analysis and value engineering to create homes that are affordable in the current economic crisis without compromising the quality of life for their occupants. Additionally, the project explores passive design methodology to create a development that is inherently green through design rather than application. Green devices including using adjacent volumes for shading of building surfaces and planted green roofs to buffer between the hot desert sun and the interior volumes are being considered.

Following the footsteps of the neighbouring emirates, Ajman has now embarked on an ambitious development plan. Supporting the growth the government of Ajman felt the need for a new Chamber of Commerce incorporating trade and exhibition halls for international exhibitions as well as a five star hotel. The design proposal attempts to introduce ‘public scale’ architecture to an emerging emirate. The design not only delivers a complex that surpasses the design requirement but also delivers architecture reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House, the Lotus Temple and the Paris Louvre. The building value is estimated at AED350 million and incorporates a series of passive and active energy conservation techniques achieving a LEED Platinum rating.


80-120 Villa Luxury Residential Development, Abu Dhabi, UAE Situated in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, the development’s starting point: the overall masterplan will be the key component to its success through its distinguished effort to create a neighbourhood that will truly foster a community spirit. Surrounding a lagoon, approximately 80120 villas will be sensitively located to maximise the site’s potential while ensuring a sustainable development is achieved that works in harmony with the natural context and the local eco-system. Three villa types are under development that will be provide a healthy mix of dwelling for small, medium


Boutique Hotel, Mykonos Town, The Cyclades, Greece Faced with a booming tourism industry yet bound by the constraints of the old historic town centre where even vehicles are barred from entering, the owners of this small privately run boutique hotel called on Rashid Taqui to create “something different!” The resulting design is a New York style hip hotel that aims to surprise and please any guest.





Al Maha Mountain Resort, Sydney, Australia Masterplan and preliminary architectural design of the new Al Maha Resort nestled in the Blue Mountains of the Wolgan Valley in Sydney, Australia. The new resort embodies all the qualities now synonymous with the Al Maha Resort and Spa, yet embraces local architecture and traditions while respecting the sensitivity of the natural environment.

Name Rashid Taqui Nationality British Address 92 Church Street, BD8 8RE, UK Tel +44 7966 212159 UK +971 504542843 UAE Fax +44 870 1351 888 eMail Date of Birth 03 Nov 1971 Marital Status Single


Sex Male

Timeless Spa and Conference Centre, Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai, UAE Design and Project Architect for the new Timeless Spa as well as the multi-function conference centre situated at the multiaward-winning Al Maha Desert Resort. Soon after its opening in 2005, the Timeless Spa was named by Conde Naste as “one of the top 10 Best Spas in the World”.

Driving Licence UK & UAE

EDUCATIONAL PROFILE Qualifications M Arch Architectural Studies International (awaited) RIBA Post Graduate Diploma, Part I & II B Arch (Hons) Architectural Studies International Establishment University of Huddersfield, UK Dates 1990-1996


Private Residence in Emirates Hills, Dubai, UAE Architecture, interior and landscape design of a private residence in the prestigious Beverly Hills-styled Emirates Hills suburb of Dubai. This private home strives to create a series of spaces that serve the owner’s particular requirements. The architecture is contemporary and modern yet it pays homage to traditional architecture through the sculptural moulding of its volumes and without any applied pastiche decorative motifs. The two-storey dwelling enjoys a corner plot. Spaces are allowed to flow into each other, yet can be isolated through carefully positioned movable elements. Four separate gardens envelope the dwelling and the external skin of the house is multilayered to allow the owner to the spaces as often as their mood, if not the season.


Bar Salaam Hotel, Dubai Creek, Dubai, UAE Masterplan and Preliminary design for this competition-winning hotel situated on one of Dubai’s most historically significant sites. Located adjacent to the Dubai Creek and the historical area of Al Shindigah, the design of the hotel sensitively mediates between this highly noisy urban location and the quietude expected by guests of such an exclusive project. The masterplan cleverly organises the hotel and its facilities on three levels; ancillary facilities including staff housing is aesthetically integrated into the project while acting as a buffer to the outside world.



RASHID TAQUI SPECIALIST STUDY Dip. Arch. Written Thesis: The UAE: Searching for a Lost Identity The study attempts to analyse a common problem faced by the Middle East where the pace of development is rapid and alien to the context. The findings offer an insight on how the future of the built environment can be shaped to reflect the 21st Century without denying its roots.


Expansion of existing resort and new HH Sheikh Maktoum’s Suite, Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai, UAE As part of the extension of the Al Maha Desert Resort, 10 new standard suites were added identical to the existing as well as one new ‘Royal Suite’. Additionally, a brand new suite was designed, detailed and constructed especially for the HH Sheikh Maktoum, then ruler of Dubai and VP of the United Arab Emirates.

Value engineering studies ensure that the development is efficient in design without compromising the expectations of the future tenants whilst the ‘critical path analysis’ ensures that the infrastructure works shall complete on program.


Dip. Arch. Design Thesis The National Museum of the United Arab Emirates, Al - Ain, UAE This contextual design criterion explores the potential for contemporary forms and modernity within the rigid parameters of traditional Islamic Architecture in a building type related to the 20th Century, demonstrating conclusions drawn in the aforementioned written thesis.

between the supervision team, numerous consultants together with the contractor. The main objective to ensure design criterion initiated in Phase 1A are carefully integrated into phase 1B without any abortive work or delays to the site activities of the infrastructure contractor or any of the other contractors working in parallel.

Emirates Lakes Infrastructure works Neighbourhoods 1A, 1B, 1C, Dubai, UAE


Architecture Plus magazine Architecture of a New World Year 2002 saw the launch of the magazine, Architecture Plus (a+) ‘Architecture of a new world’ focusing on Dubai and its neighbouring countries. Seven years on, Architecture Plus has a subscriber in over 27 countries. After assisting with the shaping of Cityscape Dubai; 2004 witnessed the launch of the Architecture Plus Awards. Open to Architects globally; the awards carried forth the mission of Architecture Plus, to be that voice of the architects and designers of our New World, while promoting cross-cultural awareness between our readers globally. One day, this dynamic platform that will pave the way for the ‘RIAD’ the Regional Institute for Architects and Designers.


Dubai Internet City Infrastructure Woks Phase 1B, Dubai, UAE As a project manager for the infrastructure works to the extension of the Internet City Phase 1A means through co-ordination

As a project manager for the planning & infrastructure works to the new neighbourhoods 1B, 1C and 1D (average 54 luxury dwellings per neighbourhood) requires through co-ordination between consultants, client and service authorities to ensure that this latest addition to Dubai’s skyline surpasses the expectations of its biggest critics – the future residents. Services are carefully integrated into the architecture and landscaping to avoid unnecessary eyesores, whilst the project is managed to ensure that all construction activities run in an efficient manner to ensure a completion date well ahead of target.


Beatification of street behind Twin Towers, Dubai, UAE Urban design of a current ‘dead space’ in Deira, Dubai to provide a new character that resulted in re-routing of traffic to create a tree-lined boulevard for pedestrian use only. Flexible spaces encourage travelling exhibitions of art and sculpture. A unique custom designed water feature adds a new landmark for this area whilst complete services & IT provisions are made for future introduction of cafes in the piazza. Custom designed advertising screens add a further ‘gallery’ feel.





I have a personal passion to deliver optimum quality in any project that I undertake especially in the field of architecture and design.

Project management and site supervision of the construction activities of a very personal and prestigious AED40-million development; complete co-ordination of five star interiors designed in Singapore with the MEP & IT designers in Dubai for this project in Abu Dhabi. Ensuring finishing standards are to the optimum and the numerous disciplines are fully co-ordinated for a timely completion.

Fully computer literate with both PC and Apple-Mac platforms; fully conversant with AutoCAD, ArchiCAD (2D and 3D), Microsoft Office (Word, Excel etc.), Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Flash and Coral Draw/paint software, Fully bilingual, English being the first language, fluent in speaking and writing Urdu, with working knowledge of Punjabi and some Arabic. Enjoy travelling and would ideally like to combine travelling with Architecture. Other interests include circuit training, photography, sketching and socialising with friends. REFEREES

Private Residence (VIP), Abu Dhabi, UAE


Private Resort (VIP), Fujairah, UAE A fast track project for the Ruler of Dubai that required a high level of initiative, concentration and motivation; the project’s aim to provide private facilities with all modern provisions for the client and his guests on a remote location in Fujeirah without any existing infrastructure. The tender drawings and complete specification were completed in a period of five weeks from client approval of concept design while the project itself was targeted to complete within 9 months.

Traditional design principles are fully analysed and translated in this unique development without emulating existing traditional buildings of Dubai and the neighbouring emirates. The design approach carefully ‘adopts & adapts’ key features of these buildings effectively into a new building type which instilled newfound pride in traditional architecture and influenced the discourse of architecture in the immediate region at the time. By many it is seen as the precedent to the wave of ‘traditional’ buildings across the Emirates including the Madinat al Jumeirah and Babal Shams among others.

Referees are available upon request.


Al Maha Desert Resort, Dubai, UAE Architectural & interior design together with furniture & lighting design of this multi-award-winning eco-resort. Creating this extremely prestigious and unusual development on a fast track program for highly demanding client, meant working in an environment with no space for mistakes. The resort was completed on target within an 18-month period from inception to handover.


Rashid Taqui CV  

Overview of the architect Rashid Taqui - designer of the multi-award-winning Al Maha Resort in Dubai, UAE