Our Studio

Pragma. is a design studio based in Dubai operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, and research. Pragma was established in 2014 by architects Ahmed Khadier and Abdulla Al Shamsi who currently lead the practice. Operating across a multitude of scales, the firm’s work promotes a critical approach to design that focuses on issues of sustainability, materiality, and cultural identity.

Our Philosophy

As part of a new generation of Arab architects operating within a market predominantly saturated with work driven by iconography and style, Pragma’s work attempts to resituate emphasis on issues of climate, social habits, and regional identity putting forth design solutions that emerge out of rigorous analysis and a thorough interrogation of site, program, and materiality.

The firm’s work is informed by the following Ideas


Site Matters
In the dual sense of being a set of physical attributes but also a conceptual construct, site informs and directs the design process.

Staging Landscapes
By either blurring or intensifying the edge between object and landscape, indoors and outdoors, site and building and by “staging” moments of interaction between them.

Poetic Functionalism
A process that strives to produce intense spatial qualities that capitalize on efficiency rather than compromise it.

Resistance to Fashions
A commitment to an architecture that is instrumental in engendering a sense of place and identity, one that is informed and enriched by regional influences, one that ages gracefully and does not run out of fashion.

Committment to Sustainbility
In its basic common sense of optimizing solar orientation, creating shade or allowing for natural ventilation, in sourcing local materials and available know how.

Our Projects

Our studio has embarked on projects across multiple platforms within the MENA region from governmental bodies to private developers, cultural agencies and private clients. Our work encompasses a variety of scales from master plans to private residences.

Practice Leaders

The practice currently operates under the leadership of the two founding partners, architects Ahmed Khadier and Abdulla Al Shamsi, who take an active role in leading projects at the office.

Ahmed Khadier

Co-founder – Principal In Charge

Ahmed Khadier is an architect of Palestinian origin who was born and raised in the UAE. Ahmed is a Founding Partner and Principal in Charge of Pragma. He holds a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture with Honors from the American University of Sharjah. In 2010, Ahmed served as Adjunct Professor at the American University of Sharjah teaching in the architecture program. Ahmed’s principal role lies in defining the firm’s creative philosophy and design brand with a hands-on involvement in all projects leading multi-disciplinary and diverse teams of creatives and designers.

Abdulla Al Shamsi

Co-founder – Partner

Abdulla Al Shamsi, an Emirati native, has studied architecture at Columbia University in New York and the American University of Sharjah where he received his master degree and bachelor degree respectively. Before establishing Pragma Architects Planners in Dubai, Abdulla founded his own Boutique firm in Sharjah, where he lead a multi-disciplinary team of architects and engineers into winning a number of high profile commissions. His experience covers a diverse range of projects including master plans, hotels, residential and infrastructure projects. Abdulla was awarded ‘Young Architect of The Year 2012’ by Middle East Architect Magazine and was featured as one of the top 50 influential architects in the Region by Middle East Architect Magazine for two consecutive years.

Contact us