Office design inspiration – Smart Dubai offices, Dubai

Suspended chairs in a modern office setting

Dubai is synonymous with opulence and luxurious lifestyles which is perhaps why Smart Dubai’s offices have been designed with a naturally grounded and earthy feel. Instead of an overwhelmingly man-made façade, Smart Dubai’s workspace truly caters for humans’ innate desire to feel connected with nature.

Smart Dubai is an initiative from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to “make Dubai the happiest city on earth”. This dynamic vision adopts a universal approach, requiring participation from residents, business owners, families and visitors. It has even implemented a Happiness Agenda – a unique, scientific and systematic approach that measures the impact the research gathered by Smart Dubai retrieves, exploring local’s wants and needs via a city-wide Happiness Index.

To this end, design and fitout firm DWP (Design Worldwide Partnership) have focused on creating a workspace that unites everyone regardless of social status: the environment. Biophilic design is evident throughout the office, from the impressive use of organic materials such as wood, lush foliage and natural rope, to the floor-to-ceiling windows and vast expanse of open spaces. Paying homage to its location, the undulating wooden slats resemble Dubai’s sand dunes that can be seen from any of Smart Dubai’s enormous windows.

Whilst the aesthetics provide an enriching and down to earth environment, DWP haven’t forgotten the office’s location. Based in a city bursting with innovative technology and AI, the workspace features a virtual reception with a live feed LED in the cafeteria. Workers also have access to a variety of work spaces, open plan seating, quiet zones, meeting rooms and a lab, as well as an auditorium and majlis.

Smart Dubai is the government office promoting the city’s smart transformation; the website states that it aims to deliver “an efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city experience for residents and visitors. Smart Dubai is committed to a collaborative and agile approach to Dubai’s smart city transformation”, which has been accurately reflected in the workspace design. Spaces are open, inviting, and comfortable, with a playful hint demonstrated in the swing seats and tiered seating in the breakout area.

Design consistencies such as the constant use of natural wood, spacious areas and a colour palette picked from a countryside landscape emphasises Smart Dubai’s focus on quality of living, people, and the environment. The lack of art on the walls or superfluous decoration again indicates that this is a space to work, share ideas and concentrate on revolutionising the way in which families and businesses operate within Dubai.

For more office design inspiration that embraces biophilia as the way to maximise workers’ potential, check out Jacada Travel’s headquarters, Sky Central’s office and Raine & Horne’s Sydney workspace, all of which feature an abundance of natural light and raw wooden furniture.

If you liked the idea of tiered seating solutions as seen in Smart Dubai’s breakout space, why not visit the Workagile showroom to try out Huddlebox? Feel free to pop in or call 020 3904 6688 or email to make an appointment.


All photos via Office Snapshots.