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Women in Real Estate

Top 6 female founded architecture and interior design firms in the MENA region

Article-Top 6 female founded architecture and interior design firms in the MENA region

Female business owners
As part of our WIRE series, Cityscape Intelligence looks at some of the top female founded architecture and interior design firms in the MENA region.


Founded by Emirati architects’ Fatima Al Zaabi and Noora Al Awar, Studio D04 was born out of a desire to explore contemporary regional architecture after the pair met while studying at the American University of Sharjah. Studio D04 offers architecture, interior design, installations and product design. With a focus on residential, the duo looks at exploring ideas of space and light, context and place drawing on their environment and region.


Founded by Sumaya Dabbagh, Dabbagh Architects exploded onto the Middle East design scene in 2008. From studying in the UK and then developing a career in London and Paris, Sumaya returned in 1993 to the MENA region to gain a deeper understanding of her identity. From projects spanning the residential, cultural and hospitality space, Dabbagh Architects, have nabbed coveted awards in the region since its launch including, Principal of the Year Award at the Middle East Architecture Awards in 2019 and Cityscape’s 2019 Community, Culture and Tourism Project for the Al Ain Museum.


Another duo on our list, Casa Lujo Interiors was founded by Shaikha Al-Sulaiti and Catherine Dela Cruz in Doha Qatar. Since its launch in 2022, the agency already scooped the Best Luxury Villa Design in Qatar from the Luxury Lifestyle Awards. With the design scene growing rapidly in Qatar, the pair believes that by following design trends they can create timeless interiors.


Dubai-based Styled Habitat was founded in 2016 by Rabah Saeid, a seasoned interior designer. Rabah, part of the American Society of Interior Designers, has a rack of projects that spans the globe including WaterWall Place in Houston, and Marrakech Polo Club in Marrakech, in addition to working on Dubai’s most impressive neighbourhoods: Emirates Hills and The Palm. While Styled Habitat puts residential at the core, the interior design firm is looking to take on more cultural, creative and commercial projects in the Middle East.


Founder and CEO of RIS Group, Rawan Alsahsah is perhaps one of the most popular and influential designers and architects in Saudi Arabia. From specialising in home interiors, contemporary luxury furniture and décor across the Middle East, the company expanded RIS Group to retail and distribution, with Rawan among the first Saudi women to have founded and led an interior design firm.


Founded in 2013 by architect Pallavi Dean, Roar has so far conducted 84 projects across the Middle East region, including Kempinski Hotel, SensAsia Spa and a portfolio of luxury private residences. Passionate about supporting female talent, Pallavi’s designs draw on empathy and deep understanding of the context and brief. Roar has a string of regional and international awards to its name including picking up the Highly Commended Boutique Firm of the Year in 2020 at Design Middle East, and Designer of the Year at the Architectural Digest Design Awards.



Discover the power of a year-round community for women in real estate, where you can connect with like-minded professionals, exchange ideas, and access valuable resources for your own career development. Unlock valuable networking opportunities and mentorship programs in the MENA region.

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