Resilience, technology and wellbeing will expedite the Middle East’s built environment in 2021

Industry experts from CallisonRTKL (CRTKL), a global consultancy specialised in architecture, design and technology, has unveiled key trends which will advance the built environment in 2021. Taking into account new industry regulations and social distancing guidelines, a large emphasis of the year will be focused on re-envisioning spaces leveraging experienced master planning to effectively manage spaces better.

Meeting smart city and sustainability goals continues to be key as building operators in the Middle East continue to work towards meeting the objectives set by the region’s visionary leadership as well as creating happier and liveable urban communities. Innovation and technology adoption are key factors in helping to drive this.

Matthew Tribe, Executive Director at CRTKL and Global Leader for both the firm’s Planning & Urban Design Studio and its Resiliency initiative, said: “This year has been like no other. But in any crisis, opportunities are uncovered. Businesses across the region have demonstrated agility, nimbleness and most importantly, resilience which has helped support the region in becoming one of the most rapid to bounce back for the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic’s impact on the Middle East – on where we work, on how we travel, and on the way we live – will be felt across the course of this decade. Over the course of the next year, we expect to see those changes impact how we design the build environment around us.”


In 2021, CallisonRTKL expects for the GCC residential market to move away from the apartment to the villa, as more and more individuals are looking to have more space when working from home.

Obada Adra, Associate Director at CRTKL, commented: “With working from home a central aspect of post pandemic life, residential requirements have shifted dramatically during 2020. No longer are residents in the GCC looking for apartments in central locations with a short commuting time to offices. Rather, real estate trends are indicating that consumers are happy to live in the suburbs in exchange for more living space for a home office and other amenities. Such a transition in consumer appetite will be transformational in the design and development of future real estate offerings in cities in the GCC.”

Mixed Use

Mixed Use developments will continue to act as drivers of community and economic vitality in 2021. Their use will continue to be popular among communities looking to re-engage and re-connect, following the conclusion of the pandemic.

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