Dubai Health Authority


Dubai, United Arab Emirates




Architecture, Planning, Experiential Design and Wayfinding, Sustainability and Resiliency Services

In keeping with the United Arab Emirates’ ongoing transformation, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) desired to upgrade and expand its hospitals to offer citizens, expatriates and regional countries world-class health options. As part of this initiative, DHA launched an invitation-only design competition for a master plan to extend its current facility, Rashid Hospital, into a leading medical complex. Gresham Smith’s winning proposal addresses the logistical challenges of building around—and then replacing—the existing hospital, the importance of sustainability in a desert climate, and the spirit of a city filled with iconic architecture.

bed tertiary hospital
bed rehab hospital
bed hotel
three buildings against the skyline

Organized into several functional zones, the large, urban campus will be the cornerstone of Dubai’s regional healthcare delivery system. The north side will be developed as a clinical campus consisting of a tertiary hospital with more than 900 beds, a center of excellence, a central laboratory, a conference and education center, research space, and a 4,000-car parking structure to support the hospital and new central utility plant.

aerial view of the campus

The south side will house a rehabilitation and commercial campus comprising a 320-bed rehabilitation hospital, a wellness center and sports medicine facility, a 250-room, five-star hotel, a family hotel and a retail market. The commercial campus also includes six apartment buildings for hospital employees, villas for visiting physician consultants, and a 2,400-car parking structure.

one of the campus’ green roofs

Given the UAE’s desire to create a greener city, managing the medical complex’s effect on the environment was a key goal for the design team. Sustainable features include green roofs that will improve energy efficiency, filter pollution from the crowded city and reduce water runoff. The design will also allow limited rainfall to be collected and used for process water. Taking advantage of abundant sunshine, extensive rooftop solar panels will generate part of the energy needed for the complex. To keep building interiors cool, Gresham Smith’s design incorporates geothermal systems, highly efficient exterior envelopes, and window glazing to minimize heat gain.

an interior lobby

To streamline flow, vehicular traffic will be organized and separated to provide convenient access to each functional zone—inpatient, outpatient, rehabilitation, hotel, retail, commercial and support services. Public and staff circulation and retail and cafeteria functions will be arranged along courtyards between buildings, providing shade and protection from the desert heat.