Rabih Geha eyes Dubai collaborations

After winning a string of awards, Beirut-based Rabih Geha Architects wants to collaborate with Dubai-based design firms on UAE projects.

The Lebanese-Croatian founder and principal of Rabi Geha Architects, Rabih Geha, who was named Interior Designer of the Year at the Commercial Interior Design Awards 2019, wants to expand to the UAE.

This comes as Lebanon faces growing economic challenges.

Geha told Commercial Interior Design the boutique practice is open to collaborating with local design agencies, although he is not believed to be in advanced negotiations with any companies at this stage.

“In this past year, we’ve expanded to Nigeria, KSA, another GCC country and we are now looking to tap into the UAE,” Geha said. “The awards we’ve won there are a great recognition for the work we do. The economic challenge happening now in Lebanon has only accelerated the process.”

Tapping into the UAE is part of Geha’s strategy to expand across the Middle East and Africa. During the last 12 months he has led the studio into Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, and diversified the company’s portfolio by working across commercial, hospitality, residential and retail projects.

In addition to winning Interior Designer of the Year, Geha picked up two more prizes at the CID Awards 2019 in September.

Asian temple-inspired rooftop bar BAU that overlooks Beirut’s waterfront came out on top of the bars and clubs category, while Images d’Orient scooped top honours for retail design of the year.

Collaboration between design studios in the Middle East is nothing new and recently established food and beverage-focused practice, TwentyOne06, completed sports bar Black Goose in the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort in partnership with Aces of Space.

Boutique Dubai-based practice Studio EM, led by Emma Stinson, has also expressed its interest in designing projects in tandem with other studios.