U+A partners Martin Dufresne and Pedram Rad. Image by Aasiya Jagadeesh
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U+A partners Martin Dufresne and Pedram Rad. Image by Aasiya Jagadeesh

Dubai's U+A opens branch in Saudi Arabia

Dubai-based U+A has opened an office in Riyadh to deliver architecture, interior design, and masterplanning as more and more construction projects in Saudi Arabia note progress and the kingdom's gigaprojects create an industry “buzz”, partner and managing director, Pedram Rad, told Construction Week.

Rad said the decision to open an office in Riyadh stemmed from the level of local market activity that was being driven by gigaprojects, among Saudi Arabia's top construction projects in 2019, that are being developed as part of the kingdom's Vision 2030 strategy.

He added: “At U+A, we are in constant discussion with our clients to assist them with multiple design services, from architecture to interior design and masterplanning.”

A “strong team” has been assigned to the Riyadh office, and U+A has already been commissioned to implement design work for a megaproject in the Saudi capital.

Rad added that the firm was also close to signing a framework agreement related to one of the kingdom's gigaprojects, but he could not disclose client or project details due to commercial sensitives.

With a flurry of new projects and developments on the horizon, he said U+A would capitalise on its regional experience to support ongoing development in Saudi Arabia.

“We are sure [that] with our strong and priceless experience from UAE and Dubai projects and development, we can [add] significant value to the Saudi Arabia’s construction market,” Rad added.

The expansion marks a key milestone for U+A, which has opened design offices in London, North America, and Cape Town since its formation in Dubai in 2006.

While the company’s history in the kingdom dates back to 2010, when it worked on a mixed-use twin-tower development in Jeddah, U+A had yet to set up a permanent base in the kingdom.