United Arab Emirates

X-Architects is a critical architectural studio founded in 2003 by principal architects Ahmed Al-Ali and Farid Esmaeil. 

Ahmed Al-Ali graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a degree in Architecture. He contributes to various research projects and has collaborated on Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council building and neighbourhood guidelines. He is a board member of the Canadian University of Dubai, the UAE University of Al Ain and the Al Hosn University in Abu Dhabi. He is actively involved in academic spheres and is a recurring critic and lecturer at various educational institutions and associations. Ahmed recently lectured and joined a panel discussion called ‘Housing the Spring’ at the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University.

Farid Esmaeil studied architecture at the American University of Sharjah School of Design. He has lectured in various universities and institutions worldwide and is a regular guest critic. He was a speaker at TEDx in Abu Dhabi, Harvard University, the University of Toronto and Doha Architecture Forum. He exhibited and contributed to the Venice Biennale in 2008, 2014 and 2016.

Since 2003, X-Architects has developed an international reputation with a significant and diverse portfolio of work ranging from masterplans, civic and cultural buildings, offices and residential buildings to private houses. X-Architects believes in design as a process. The studio conducts research into creating a built environment that is adaptive and contextual. The sensible yet critical design approach recognises the inherent complexity in modern-day building and harnesses this complexity to produce projects that are culturally robust, place sensitive and environmentally friendly.

X-Architects projects have gained continuous recognition and have been exhibited in international venues like the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London in 2011 and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen 2014. In 2010, Al-Ali was honoured with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders.



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