The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will open its first office in the GCC on December 15, 2019. The new office will be an operational centre for the RIBA, enabling the RIBA to develop professional networks and partnerships and to increase its support for architects in the region.

 The opening of the Sharjah office forms part of RIBA’s international development programme, which will also establish a RIBA office in Shanghai. Sharjah, along with Shanghai, will be the first cities outside the UK to have a RIBA base. 

Alan Vallance, chief executive at RIBA, said: “As a global professional membership body, we are pleased to expand our growing international network with a new office in Sharjah. The GCC is an important and growing market for architects and the construction sector and a prime location for our first base in the region.”

Vallance further adds: “The RIBA sets the highest professional standards for architects and champions excellence in the built environment. We look forward to forging new collaborations, opportunities for sharing expertise, and being able to offer even greater support to architects and partners in Sharjah and the wider Gulf region.” 

The RIBA has been working closely with partners in the Gulf region for a number of years. In recent months, RIBA agreed on a collaboration with the Dubai Land Department, delivered talks, discussions, and outreach activities at Cityscape Dubai and Dubai Design Week. They also led a major construction symposium in Kuwait. The RIBA will participate in Expo 2020 and Cityscape Dubai next year.