Centred around a professional golf course and a series of manmade lakes known as Emirates Hills in Dubai, this set of 20 luxury villas combines our rigorous approach to architecture with a response to traditional Arabic design. The villas themselves sold, off-plan, within hours of being offered for sale. They were constructed by Frayland LLC as part of an overall residential development by Emaar PJSC.

The site was in a growing residential area of reclaimed desert. A generic villa type was designed which was developed to provide variations within the restrictions of a uniformed grid. This resulted in an interesting range of individual houses and a lively streetscape. The villas are generally four or five bedroom, with a guest room at ground level and live-in staff accommodation.

The central 'majlis' space is the heart of a villa plan, and gives a clarity of organisation to the spaces around it at ground and first floor level. In most villas, the 'majlis' is internal, but is double height with a good level of natural daylight. In others, the central space takes the form of an external courtyard.  A circulation route separates the formal family and entertainment spaces from the service spaces, like the kitchen.

External terraces, balconies and loggias were configured to allow plenty of daylight into the villas, while protecting them from the heat of the sun. Further screening and privacy was ensured by the use of cast aluminium fixed and sliding screens.


  • Location Dubai, UAE
  • Value Varies
  • Size 500-840 m² per villa
  • Client Emaar with Frayland Construction
  • Year 2003