Godwin Austen Johnson, UAE

The Chedi Khorfakkan Resort, Khorfakkan

Cranleigh School, Abu Dhabi

The Hills, Dubai

GAJ is one of the largest and longest-established UK architectural and design practices in the UAE. Throughout our 25 year history we have created some of Dubai’s most iconic buildings and have helped define the emirate as we know it today. 

An award-winning and multi-disciplinary architecture practice, we have particular expertise in hospitality, education, leisure, residential and commercial design and masterplanning, and provide expertise in the associated disciplines of architecture, interior design, specialist lighting and MEP.

GAJ originally started in the UK in 1989 as Godwin Austen Johnson. However its lineage of partnerships harks back to 1847 with a corporate archive of landmark British architecture throughout the industrial and modern ages.

In 1991 Principal and Managing Partner Brian Johnson opened the GAJ headquarters in Dubai. He had been practicing in the emirate since 1975 and saw exciting opportunities to contribute to the development of a new world city.

With nearly 40 years of regional experience to his name, Brian’s influence on modern Middle Eastern architecture has been pervasive. GAJ’s body of work comprises some of Dubai’s most recognisable and prized buildings.

To meet the demands of the fast-developing economies across the Middle East, we continue to expand and diversify our operations. The practice is headed by six partners and offers a wider range of expertise across architecture, design, lighting and MEP.

We believe that open communication and collaboration form a critical part of the design process where we can collectively identify objectives and expectations and assess the operational and functional relationships.

Our team is our core and we ensure that everyone visits our projects on site as we feel it critical to learn from what we did well, what could be done better and how we can make it easier in the future.