Modern architecture United Arab Emirates


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Before the arrival of western architecture it was common to have houses with blank walls and decorative doors facing narrow alleys. An internal courtyard provided light and air. Business took place in open markets or specialized souks.
Blank wall


Marhaba Hotel
The Marhaba Albraha Hotel with pre-fabricated concrete panels for sun shading. With the adoption of air-conditioning and electric lights the need for windows diminished, but streets became less friendly and look anonymous.

The 4 Season Hotel and the Al Tawoos Hotel in Al Murar.
Four Season Hotel
Balconies and windows are elements of modern western architecture. Transplanted into the hot desert climate they cause problems which only can be solved by air-conditioning. Because of an extreme concern for privacy, traditional Arab architecture in Emirates required minimal permeable openings to the outside. The badgheer provided direct air movement and cooling breezes to the rooms and was a source of indirect light.

Residential building with balustrades and doric columns.
Residential building
Car parking on the ground floor below the apartments.
Residential building


Darwish Building
Hussain Haider Darwish Building at 38 and Al Jazeira Street
Strawberry Corner
The Strawberry Corner cafeteria and a Gent's saloon
International Exchange
Al Rostamani International Exchange with MoneyGram transfer
Bachelor Rooms
Bachelor rooms to let in this Bur Dubai round corner building.


City Light Restaurant
The City Light Restaurant below a mezzanine floor and three top stories. Fresh flowers and plants, a grocery and offices
Flower shop

The facades of Dubai's mixed-use, hotel and residential buildings serve as a stage of commercial symbolism.


Al Fardan Building
Blue balconies at the Al Fardan Building on Al Ghubaiba Road in Dubai's Al Souq Al Kabeer area, looking on Port Rashid.

Balcony building
As many jharokha balconies as the Hawa Mahal palace of the breeze in Jaipur, India. Sometimes we can read a facade like we can read a face. Here we understand that these balconies are not in use but are a tradition of merchants from India.

Balcony in Dubai
In an urban context every façade is an intermediary element, a functional skin, the boundary and filter between the outside and the inside, the public and the private.

Building with U.A.E. flag
Very small balconies under the U.A.E. banner at the top-floor.

Silver Sands Bldg.
The Silver Sands 1 apartment hotel on Al Mankhool Street in Bur Dubai build 1981 by consultant ARENCO Architects. Architectural historian and landscape designer Charles Alexander Jencks once stated: Everything that can be seen or thought about takes a meaning, or position within a signifying system (even the recurrent attempts to escape from this omnipresent signification).

Inside to outside
Lots of residential units above a Beauty Salon and Diagnostic
Center on the ground floor. Most balconies are not in use or
used for drying clothes in the sun.


Al Ras Hotel
The white-blue Al Ras Hotel building.

Mixed-use building
Rooms to let in this Al Rigga mixed-use building.

Apartment building
Rooms to let in this Al Rigga apartment building.

Balcony above a butchery
Balconies above Naderi Butchery and Vee Vee Trading.

Al Laith Sanitary & Painting Works
Three storeys above Al Laith Sanitary & Painting Works.

Scheherazade Gulf Trading
In the evening one can sit outside his apartment above Scheherazade Gulf General Trading and enjoy a cool breeze.

Tanour Restaurant
Tanour Restaurant building on Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road.

Business Connection building
Balconies above the shop of Business Connection building.

Eat & Drink Restaurant
Building with Eat & Drink Restaurant and computer shops.

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