Yahya Kaddoura of Atkins discusses multicultural architecture

Yahya Kaddoura of Atkins discusses multicultural architecture

The interaction between different nationalities and cultures and how it is reflected in the design of Dubai is one of the passions which fuels the work of Yahya Kaddoura.

Born in the city, but of Palestinian nationality, the young architect with Atkins has watched his hometown evolve over his 24 years of residency, from relatively small projects to the giant developments of recent years.

“I remember when the projects were mainly villas, now Dubai is a true international city,” he says. “People coming here to live and work from across the world all bring their own cultures and way of thinking and that is reflected in design.”

Kaddoura was first attracted to architecture as a profession because of the scope it offered.

He says: “It’s a mixture of engineering, technology and design and even marketing plays a part. But what underlies it is an awareness of the human factor. Buildings tell the story of the culture of any given area. Architecture itself tells the story of the city. I went to a workshop recently and really the major topic of discussion was people.

“It was agreed by everyone that buildings must reflect the needs of the people who use them.”

He adds: “Architecture is always progressing as the technology of design is updated. In this market you have to be innovative and come up with your own designs. There is no point in just copying what others have done. The clients will say what it is they require, but it is then up to the architect to improve it.”


Aged 24 and born and raised in Dubai, Yahya Kaddoura is of Palestinian nationality. He left school at the age of 16 and then attended the University of Sharjah, graduating aged 21. He has been with Atkins for three years.

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