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Nikken Sekkei expands operations in Dubai with opening of new office in D3

The firm has been involved in the design and engineering of a number of key projects in Dubai and the wider Middle East region

Japanese architectural, engineering and urban design firm Nikken Sekkei has launched a local subsidiary and new office in Dubai Design District (D3). The new D3 office will complement Nikken Sekkei’s office on Sheikh Zayed Road and support the company’s expansion, the firm stated.

The new Nikken Sekkei Dubai office is said to highlight Nikken Sekkei’s pedigree in the UAE (dating back to 1991), with the design of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry building located on the Dubai Creek.

The firm celebrated the opening with a 130-person reception at the Palace Downtown Hotel in Dubai, which included Noboru Sekiguchi, Consul-General of Japan in Dubai, Nikken Sekkei’s President and CEO, Atsushi Omatsu, members of the firm’s executive committee, as well as a host of partners, associates, and developers. The event also showcased a range of projects the Dubai office has been responsible for designing and collaborating in the region’s office, residential, and hospitality markets, during its three decades in the Middle East.

“The Middle East is a region which we greatly value for the opportunity to participate in high-quality projects. We are especially pleased with the high level of craftsmanship and beauty we have achieved with our clients and partners on recent landmark projects such as One Za’abeel. Dubai has excellent infrastructure with which to sustain our growth, and I believe the establishment of a new company in the Dubai Design District will strengthen our capability to continue contributing to the development of this region,” stated Omatsu.

Fadi Jabri, Executive Officer of Nikken Sekkei and CEO of Nikken Sekkei Dubai

The Consul-General congratulated the Nikken Sekkei team, noting the significance of the firm’s achievements in Dubai.

Fadi Jabri, Executive Officer of Nikken Sekkei and CEO of Nikken Sekkei Dubai added, “Nikken Sekkei Dubai is a cosmopolitan group of architects, designers, and experts who value the role of creative design and the capacity for architecture to generate value through aesthetically pleasing and functional environments for people. We have a young and vibrant team. Our signature designs are influenced by Japanese aesthetics, and we believe in the importance of nature and traditional values yet are creatively aware of embracing progress and technology.”

The firm’s team of architects and engineers are responsible for designing the One Za’abeel development, which has a 230m long, 23,000t skybridge called ‘The Link’, connecting the two towers 100m above ground, giving it a floating effect. The development is due to be inaugurated before the end of this year. Other key structures the firm designed include Emaar 52|42 towers, Emaar Forte, the Islamic Development Bank Headquarters in Jeddah, Tadawul Tower in Riyadh, and Cairo Opera House, the statement outlined.

Elaborating on Nikken Sekkei’s design journey in the UAE, Jabri noted, “When we started working on our first project, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, it was one of the tallest buildings in Dubai. Dubai’s superior infrastructure and proximity to clients in the Middle East, India, and CIS have since supported our growth in the region. We hope to continue serving the needs of our clients and bring additional value through collaboration with the team in Japan.”

Nikken Sekkei Dubai begun operations with a staff of 25; the new subsidiary is said to be the company’s fifth globally and its first since 2019. It will continue to serve mixed-use, urban planning, hospitality, and high-end residential markets in the UAE and neighbouring countries by providing holistic and innovative designs, the statement concluded.


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