The Five Hotel Palm Jumeirah by P&T Architects
The Five Hotel Palm Jumeirah by P&T Architects

MEA Awards 2018 shortlist: Large Firm of the Year

We are pleased to announce the shortlist for the MEA Awards 2018, which will take place on Wednesday, November 21 in Dubai.

This year, we have received 361 submissions across 13 categories from 132 companies throughout the region. The shortlist was created by the Middle East Architect editorial team and will be passed on to this year's judges for review and winners selection.

Here are the shortlisted nominees for Large Firm of the Year: 

LACASA Architects & Engineering Consultants

LACASA was founded eleven years ago by Emad Jaber & Nabil Al Khaja, and currently has projects in the UAE and Palestine. Some of LACASA's projects include Dubai Wharf, Al Dana Tower, Mall of the World sales centre, and residences in Dubai Land as well as labour accommodation projects. The firm  also has a strong focus in improving the quality of life in Palestine and contributing to its economy, all while involving young architects and students through initiatives such as competitions. One of the firm's plans for Palestine include the Mall of Palestine, which is developed by the company's developer arm. 

NORR Group Consultants International Ltd 

NORR Group is an international firm of architects, engineers, and planners, with offices in 21 cities around the world. The firm was founded in Canada in 1938 as the legacy firm of John B. Parkin Associates. The firm identifies as providing fully integrated solutions for a range of projects, ranging from commercial, lifestyle, institutional, and transportation projects. Its' contemporary business model utilises knowledge, innovation and collaboration tools within a rigorous design framework. NORR's portfolio includes a broad and diverse range of projects, which includes some of the largest and most well-known buildings in the world such as the Jumeirah Emirates Towers and the Burj Khalifa. In the Middle East, NORR has grown its presence to include projects in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iran. 

P&T Architects and Engineers

P&T Group is formerly known as Palmer and Turner, and is possibly the oldest large architectural and engineering practice in the world, dating back to 1868. . The firm has been pioneers in building design and responsible for numerous landmark buildings, and ‘skylines’ in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. Having established its Dubai office in 2004, the firm has grown its staff to 150 professionals, consisting of architects, structural, and engineers – the firm also has a sustainability team. Despite its large scale of operation, the firm operates in a series of studios, with partners and directors working with the teams during the various stages of design. Out of the Dubai office, P&T has designed the tallest built tower in Riyadh, the Burj Rafal – Kempinski as well as the award winning Five Hotel & Resort on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. The firm’s upcoming projects also include work in Kazakhstan and Nigeria.

RSP Architects Engineers & Planners

RSP Architects Engineers & Planners has been engaged with projects in the Middle East, since 1995, and has a deep understating and appreciation of the region, its people and their cultures as well as evolving development needs. RSP set up its dedicated Dubai office in 2010 which has now grown to a 70-person company. Some of the firm’s projects in the region include Khalifa University of Science, Technology & Research (KUSTAR) in Abu Dhabi, the corporate headquarters of the largest Islamic bank, Al Rajhi Bank, in Riyadh (KSA), Nakheel Mall & Palm Tower, on Palm Jumeirah, in Dubai (UAE); and soon-to-be largest mall in the region, Deira Mall in Deira Islands.

Tabalioglu Architects

Tabanlıoglu Architects was established in 1990 by Murat Tabanlıoglu and his father Hayati Tabanlıogu, who were later joined by partner Melkan Gursel. The Istanbul-based architectural firm’s long family tradition began in 1950 with Dr. Hayati Tabanlıoglu, the architect of Cankaya Mosque, Erzurum Ataturk University, Ataturk Cultural Center, Istanbul Ataturk Airport and Galleria, ‘the first shopping mall of Turkey’. Spanning over six decades, the firm’s offerings currently include architecture, urban planning, and interior design. Tabanlıoglu’s projects comprise of a wide range of building types, winning a variety of awards including the RIBA International award in 2011 and 2013. The firm’s ethos consists of researching global and environmental needs and developments and creating a built environment that caters to them. It also has a strong focus on environmental impacts, and strives to make a contribution using new technologies and serving the currently and future needs of people, on a national and international scale.


U+A is a multidisciplinary design practice offering services in architecture, interior design, urban planning, landscape design and engineering. With projects ranging across various design sectors such as hospitality, residential, mixed-use, multi-storey buildings and commercial developments, U+A has worked on some of the most well-known buildings and developments in Dubai. Since its humble beginnings, the firm has now grown to 136 employees. Some of U+A’s projects include the Marasi Floating Homes, Midtown for Deyaar, Paramount Hotel by Damac, and the Swiss International School of Dubai.

Woods Bagot

Woods Bagot has been in the Middle East for over 15 years, working on some of the region’s most highly coveted projects, with more projects currently in the pipeline. Woods Bagot has contributed to the region’s architecture industry not only through its architectural work but also through thought leadership, taking part in countless talks and panel discussions, sharing knowledge and best practice based on its experiences within the field. The firm also has a strong focus on sustainability as well as strong ethos of giving back to the community. Woods Bagot describes itself as a “people architecture” company, placing a huge emphasis on the human experience which sits at the forefront of its design process. In the UAE alone, Woods Bagot has delivered over 600,000sqm of developments. Its’ recently completed projects include the Kempinski Hotel in Oman, comprising 310 guest keys and 77 services apartments; City Walk in Dubai as well as the Aljada masterplan in Sharjah. Woods Bagot is currently working on the CoEx Campus, which is the single largest building on the Expo 2020 Dubai site, currently under construction.