Text | Maria Aslam
Visuals | Courtesy NORR Dubai

During the 21st century, the city of Dubai has become home to some of the most iconic buildings in the world. Often highly individualistic in nature, each of these structures competes for its position as the new icon for a rapidly transforming city. For a visitor arriving in Dubai, the visual impact is undeniable as landmarks such as Emirates Towers, Burj Khalifa, and Burj Al Arab, to name a few, strive to make an impression.

A common characteristic of many of these works is their unabashed ambition in terms of design and engineering. At best these structures challenge accepted norms, are finely crafted, and soar to great heights – a reflection of the ambitions of this young city.

One of the most recent projects, much hyped in headlines is Ciel, currently under construction in the Dubai Marina. Drawing attention for claiming its place as the future tallest hotel in the world, Ciel is scheduled for completion in 2023. This latest landmark in the Dubai skyline is designed by Yahya Jan, a Pakistani architect leading NORR’s design studio in Dubai. Born in Karachi and educated in the US, Yahya studied and worked in Princeton, New York and Boston for 14 years prior to moving to the Middle East in 1996. Over his past 26 years in Dubai, Yahya has led a multi-disciplinary studio, comprising of architects, engineers, interior designers, and managers, to design and deliver challenging projects in the region. Vertical and horizontal, Yahya’s built work includes some of the most recognizable developments in Dubai and in the region.