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QGBC hosted a successful second series of Doha Green Discussions under the banner “Green Buildings from Islamic and Architectural Identity Perspective” at QGBC Headquarters on the 16th January 2011. The series was timely as the green built movement gains momentum in Qatar.

The highly awaited series saw a large attendance of individuals mostly members of QGBC from construction, contracting, property development, companies and building materials; indicative of the increasing demand of understanding the sustainable built practices from Qatari and architectural perspective due to growing necessity of environmental-friendly and energy efficient buildings.

The application of sustainable practices was further addressed by X Architects Founding Partner, Farid Esmaeil, where he addressed sustainable design and various characteristics specific to the climate and environment. “A successful sustainable architectural design is one that not only addresses environmental responsibility, but also, social responsibility”,stated Farid at the seminar.

A detailed press release can be found here

Emarati is a dynamic presenter led magazine program on Dubai One that explores the culture and the tradition of the United Arab Emirates as it is lived today in the Emirate of Dubai. This program explores the lives of citizens, movers and shakers who are rapidly moving up the ladder of success. In the fifth episode of their second season, the theme of the show was Dubai’s past and present architecture, which featured X Architects and the founders Ahmed Al Ali and Farid Esmaeil.Video here

A video impression of ‘Al Manakh II: Gulf Continued’ was made by some of its contributors, including X Architects. The video was put together by Pink Tank, and premiered on June 8, 2010, at Shelter, Dubai. Al Manakh is the collaborative initiative to monitor, reveal and forecast new urban developments unfolding in the Gulf region. This analysis focuses on how the Gulf’s recent pace has not only shaped its own urban centers but also releases significant effects beyond its borders.Video here

“Gulf suffers from cookie-cutter cultural mentality”, an article written by Ahmed Al Ali, Executive Chairman of X Architects, was published in The National newspaper on 27th July 2010. The piece talks about cultural integrations with architecture and urban design not only to the UAE, but also for any emerging country.

 Read the entire article here


In August 2010, X Architects was added to Architecture News Plus, an online architectural and design resource that focuses on publishing relevant and correct information about global architecture firms and their works. The website caters to a global audience primarily comprising of professionals from the AEC industries, design enthusiasts, academicians and students.



On the 21st of June, 2010, a group of Architecture students from Inholland University of Applied Sciences in Netherlands made a visit to the X-Architects studio for a vibrant workshop with our Founding Partner, Farid Esmaeil. The session aimed to develop their understanding of architectural design firms and practices in the Gulf region.


Abu Dhabi newspaper, The National, published an article after the Cityscape MENA Awards in April 2010, commending X Architects’ design team for their work in Al Nasseem which was named Best Mixed Use Future Development Project.


X- Architects’ project, Al Nasseem, won the prestigious Mixed-use Future Development Project of the year at Cityscape Abu Dhabi MENA Awards held on the 18th April 2010. The ceremony recognized projects that demonstrated the most sensitive approach to climate and sustainability in architectural design and planning.  



The University of Bahrain (UoB) held its second annual Architecture Forum on the 10th of March 2010, entitled “Gulf on Focus” and took place on the University’s campus in Isa Town. The three-day event, which was held under the patronage of Minister of Culture and Information Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, aimed to highlight the architectural changes in the Gulf region together with their causes and implications. Ahmed Al Ali was a speaking member of the forum and addressed the Gulf’s architectural identity in the past and what effect it leaves on forming today’s architecture.

X- Architects won two awards at the eminent Middle East Architect Awards 2010 for Boutique Architecture Firm of the Year, and Principal of the Year, which was jointly awarded to the founders Ahmed Al Ali and Farid Esmaeil on the 28th of September 2010.

The Middle East Architect Awards recognize both regional and international architects and engineers that continuously strive to keep the built environment of the Gulf on the cutting edge of design and construction. The awards were in recognition of X Architects’ dedication to regional architecture and the Principals’ achievements over the last year.



Architects won the prestigious Mohammed Bin Rashid Award 2009 for young business leaders at a Gala function held by the Mohammad Bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Size Enterprises (MBRE ) on 11 January 2010. The award for the Best Business in Consultancy was received by Ahmed Al Ali , the Co-founder and Executive chairman of X-Architects from HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the MBRE.  The ceremony was also attended by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.



The middle-east architect award was announced on 30th September 2009 at a gala dinner in Dubai. The award recognises the year’s best designed mixed-use development or cluster of buildings in the region, that best addresses the climatic, cultural, aesthetic, density and transportation challenges within a mixed-use programme.The jury consisting of prominent design leaders and architects in the region, felt that of all the projects submitted, the Xeritown showed a considered response to local climatic conditions whilst utilizing a distinctive methodology and rationale for the design along with principles of vernacular considerations. More information of the award can be found at 



MEAA awards

Imagining Urban Futures was a singular platform that united global thinkers to delve on emerging urban developments. In doing so it proposed strategies for a progressive and imaginative urban future. The invited speakers and the participatory format of sessions  encouraged a speculative direction to the conference. The session was a power-forum curated by Rahul Mehrotra, MIT India Urban Lab for thought leaders to present and discuss their ideas and innovations for effective Urban Solutions.


361 degrees header

361 degrees open discussion

The 3rd annual cost effective sustainable construction conference is scheduled to be held between 15 -18 Mar 09 in the Beach Rotana Hotel & Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE. A Case study of - “Xeritown - a climatic responsive habitat”, will be presented by Ahmed as part of the sustainable Master Planning executive focus day of the conference.


Ahmed Al Ali was awarded during the 8th Annual Ceremony to Honor Training Organization 2007-2008. The award was presented in a gala dinner event organised by the university on 12th feb 09.

UOS award 2008

Farid Esmaeil, the founding partner of X-Architects would be one of the speakers in the educational symposium- Mousharaka, as part of the Icograda design week in Qatar. The conference will bring together practitioners, scholars, and students across design disciplines, cultures and regions to build bridges, raise awareness of the importance and promise of collaboration, and create bonds necessary to achieve the full potential of design in the Gulf region. Farid will also be offering a student workshop called ‘Co.LAB ‘ on the same evening



Below is an update on the conference images.

Farid at Mousharaka

Farid at CoLAB

 Farid Esmaeil presented and discussed X Architects practice with a group of 50 CEO’s of various Dutch architecture firms and developers as part of a workshop organised by Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi). The event was hosted in the House boat- one of the landmark project by XArchitects- on 26 Oct 08. Each year NAi invites collaborators to a destination of relevance to today’s world of architecture, development and business opportunities. For 2008, UAE was selected as the workshop destination, to expose a group of Dutch professionals to Dubai and Abu Dhabi as cities undergoing extensive development.

Nai Logo

The Second Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction were announced on 12 Nov 08 at a Gala ceremony in Marrakesh, Morocco. More than 5000 projects from 90 countries were entered in the competition for the Africa Middle East region, which was judged by an independent panel of jury members headed byJoe Addo. X Architects project “Xeritown” - a climate responsive mixed use development in Dubai was awarded with an acknowledgment prize. More information about the award can be found at the Holcim Foundation website.


Ahmed Al Ali will present and discuss the latest works of X-Architects including the “Xeritown” project at the SA+D auditorium in the American University of Sharjah.

AUS presentation

 Ahmed Al Ali, Principal of X-Architects presented the “Xeritown” project in the Abu Dhabi Green building conference, held on 03 Nov 2008. The Abu Dhabi Green Conference is the first of its kind in Abu Dhabi whose objective was to take an in-depth approach to sustainability by highlighting the major sectors of the new rating system ESTIDAMA.The Abu Dhabi Green was accompanied by an exhibition “Green Innovations” where selected companies presented their solution for the latest sustainable building technologies.


Presentation Sesame


X Architects principal Ahmed Al Ali and Leen Vandaele presented a commemorative ring representing the house boat ‘O’ de Squisito to H.H. Shk. Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi

House boat ring

X-architects project “Xeritown” was published in the National newspaper with an interview of principal Ahmed Al Ali regarding the salient features of the project

The National


X-Architects principal Ahmed Al Ali participated in the conference on  ”Building sustainability into the Middle-east”, that was held in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai on 29 May 08 where he was one of the speakers. The conference included several prominent delegates from the construction industry who are currently implementing new practices of sustainability.

Building sustainability


X-Architects will present in the seminar “Contemporary Urban theory and Practice”, their Urban master plan for a new sustainable development in Dubai. The seminar is hosted by the American University of Sharjah (AUS) and IAARA (International Art & Architectural Research Association) .

Venue: SA+D Lecture Hall, Wednesday 28 May, 9am-5pm

Discussions Moderator: Dr. Fatih Rifki
Coordinator of Event: George Katodrytis

X-Architects are developing a concept for a shading pavilion at the financial heart of Dubai. Here is an initial glimpse into the early stages of this project.

 Shading structure

Principals Ahmed al Ali and Farid Esmaeil shall participate in the SA+D open day discussion panel at the AUS sharjah as panel members. The topic for the discussion will be ‘Process versus/and Product: The road towards practice’. The event is scheduled for the 6th of march 2008 at 4 pm in the School of architecture + Design, American University of Sharjah.


X-Architects have been given the opportunity to present their work in the Lecture series at Architectural Association of UAE. The lecture series invites prominent figures in the field of construction from different part of the world to present and discuss their works in an open forum. The date and time of the lecture will be updated soon.


X-Architects principal Ahmed Al Ali will present strategies on sustainable master planning entitled “Green cities of the future” in the 2008 Cityscape Abudhabi conference. He will also serve as a panel member in the discussion “Master plans of the Future: - Creating, building and sustaining green cities”. The event is scheduled for between the 13th and 15th of May 2008.

Cityscape Abudhabi


X-Architects have been invited to present their urban master plan project T.P.W.t.S.N as part of AA UAE in the upcoming IFIAD 2008 Exhibition. Dates and timing of the presentation will be updated soon.

IFIAD 2008 logo



X-Architects principals Ahmed Al Ali and Farid Esmaeil are participating in the AA winter school 2008 being held in Dubai. The 10 day intensive workshop-based programme will run a design-led curriculum that combines conceptual and material research in the process of radical criticism and the rigorous production of ideas. It will investigate different aspects of the emerging spatial realities of the Gulf region, with a local focus on Dubai.






X-Architects project House Boat published in Italian Magazine
December 8,2007

X-Architects new master plan published in Al Manakh
December 8,2007
The first ever book comprehensively analysing the urban development of the Gulf region by AMO / Archis / Moutamarat, 'Al Manakh' was launched on the occasion of the International Design Forum in Dubai (27-29 May 2007).

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