GAJ is one the largest and longest-established UK architectural and design firms in the UAE. Throughout their history, which spans 30 years, GAJ has created some of Dubai's most iconic buildings and have helped define the emirate as we know it today.
Abdallah loves the creative freedom to build and design forms that users can touch. While he was studying architecture he discovered there was so much more to creating buildings than just design. He believes it is the history, the structure, the engineering behind it and so much more that go into making a project special.
And it is this that gave him the desire to take up architecture and interior design as a professional career.
Abdallah is recognised for his neat and creative designs that push boundaries yet respect the client vision at all times. He is an imaginative yet practical designer who naturally gravitates towards atypical spaces which allows him to explore and create exciting spatial experiences.
A young, experienced and creative designer he has utilised his talents in a number of high profile projects across the hospitality, educational, residential, and commercial sectors.
With more than seven years’ experience in the industry coupled with a background in architecture Abdallah continues to deliver artful and authentically composed interiors following the philosophy of the designed space as a communication tool.
FAIZAL RAZAK: JUNIOR INTERIOR DESIGNER
An Interior Design graduate from Heriot Watt University, Faizal joined GAJ as an intern quickly proving himself to be a capable and fast learner. He is a forward-thinking designer with a talent for proposing concepts that are a step outside of the conventional. He is not afraid to experiment with ideas and materials to produce designs that are highly original yet fully functional.
Faizal was the student team leader and lead interior designer for the Solar Decathlon Middle East competition organised by DEWA in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy in which universities from all over the world got together to design, build and operate a grid-connected, solar powered house. The experience was a highly educational and rewarding one, helping develop his collaborative skills.
Faizal has an impressive skillset which includes a raft of software skills from 3DS Max and Autodesk Autocad to Adobe After Effects and VRAY.
Upon completion of his internship Faizal was offered a full-time position with Godwin Austen Johnson as a junior interior designer and he is now a key member of the interior design team.
AYA FAOUR: INTERN
Joining GAJ as an intern Aya is an exciting young designer whose passion for the industry is paralleled by her commitment to sustainable design.
Aya graduated from the Canadian University Dubai with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design in 2016 and has been gaining valuable experience in the industry through work placements.
Her creative design skills and flexible attitude have helped her gel with the interior design team at GAJ where she contributes to some of the firm’s major design projects.
In addition to following key trends Aya is keen to blaze her own trail which she is doing through the study of environmentally friendly materials and processes that she tries to incorporate into her design ideas wherever possible.
JACINDA RANIOLO: LEAD CREATIVE DESIGNER
Clients have come to respect Jacinda’s competence, balance of professionalism and ability to deal with occasional challenges and difficult situations. They recognise that it is her involvement on a project from inception through to completion that ensures that a quality outcome is delivered.
With almost 20 years of experience and a diverse portfolio that includes residential, educational, healthcare, commercial and hospitality sector Jacinda is recognised for her dedication, design and management skills. She has an innate ability to bring people together as a team, acknowledging the strengths of her colleagues and developing and nurturing their abilities to achieve successful results.
She leads the designers in hospitality projects with her drive, organisational skills and constant pursuit of perfection ensuring the smooth running and success of the projects coming out of the studio.
Jacinda believes great design is a combination of many great ideas and the collaboration of a finely-tuned team and it is this approach that sets her apart. It is not just that she challenges design boundaries, she also explores new directions to find balance and harmony. Her work shows great depth of understanding and she applies her varied knowledge to great effect to the benefit of clients and the practice.
Rochelle initially studied architecture at the Technological University of the Philippines earning a Bachelor of Science in Architecture but quickly realised that she had a natural talent for interior design and chose to follow this career path instead.
A highly versatile designer Rochelle credits her love of travelling and the understanding of the different cultures she experiences as her inspiration. She believes that creativity and passion are essential to the originality of design.
Her dedication to the industry and to the design process drives her to seek new experiences and processes which she incorporates into her work adding another dimension to her skills. She is respected as a designer who has an innate ability to create a distinct personality for a project through the careful consideration of materials, colour and product selection.
Rochelle is a senior interior designer with more than 18 years’ experience whose work has included a wide range of projects but it is the hospitality industry where she really excels. She has led the design process on a number of upscale and luxury hotels in the region including Mysk Al Mouj in Oman, the Chedi Hotel in Khorfakkan, Ritz Carlton in Marrakech and the Fairmont Hotel in Ajman. She has also contributed to the design of a number of restaurants as part of the Jewel of the Creek project as well as the Bab Al Yam in Burj Al Arab.