Diwan al-Amiri (Design)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

In 1984, Makiya Associates entered a design competition for new headquarters and offices (diwan) for the Amir of Dubai. While the design was never built, it was well received in the competition.[1]

The site for the proposed diwan was along Dubai Creek near the historic Bastakiyya neighborhood, in close proximity to the ruler’s extant offices. The design took this extant office into consideration, following its axis and linking to it with a bridge. The main government building is closest to the extant office, situated at the north end of the complex along the waterfront: the most private and exclusive zone. The public government buildings were situated further south on the main axis of the new building, which encompassed two courtyards and included a projecting octagonal assembly hall attached to the west side of the building. The design also takes into consideration the waterfront and the city beyond, introducing vistas into courtyards through apertures created by the architecture. 

Like many Makiya Associates buildings, the design of the Diwan drew purposefully on concepts evident in the historical architecture of the region to inflect the modern, global style. One such principle was simplicity of form, which the designer suggests relies on “spaces clearly defined within the composition, without ambiguity.”[2]


  1. Makiya, Post-Islamic Classicism, 155.
  2. Makiya Associates, Design Report. Section 1: "Ideology and Architectural Philosophy."


Makiya Associates. Design Report: The Diwan of H.H. The Ruler of Dubai. London: Makiya Associates, 1984.

Makiya, Kanan. Post-Islamic Classicism: A Visual Essay on the Architecture of Mohamed Makiya. London: Saqi, 1990.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Associated Names
design submitted in 1984
Variant Names
ديوان الاميري
Al-Diwan al-Amiri
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