Architecture Building and Urban Study: Abu Dhabi

Ref: ADH-R2-008-2018


Second year BA Architecture students are eligible to participate in this opportunity. The maximum number of places on this opportunity is 30 and the minimum the trip will go ahead with is 15. DMU staff will be accompanying the group.

DMU students are only eligible to receive one academic-led trip bursary per year. Please check our eligibility criteria for further details.


Students will have the opportunity to examine architectural and urban planning in Abu Dhabi. They will conduct an architectural study of selected buildings and urban planning examining how Abu Dhabi is leading sustainable urban planning in Arid Climate.

Abu Dhabi is one of the many shapes of urbanity in future come. Urban Centres that thrive have many cultural opportunities for its residents. Masdar City is the first attempt for a Carbon Free City. The New Islamic Museum by French Architect Jean Nouvel is considered as a latest modern masterpiece. Abu Dhabi is an exemplar for sustainability and construction innovation. An architectural and urban study of Abu Dhabi will give the students an opportunity to reshape their knowledge and thoughts in how they design future contemporary buildings in their Architecture Degree.

The Lourve Abu Dhabi is designed by French, Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, inspired by the architecture and traditions of the United Arab Emirates, but also reflective of the nation’s modern vision and achievements. The result is nothing short of that ambition. Inspired by the traditional Emirati roofs of thatched palm leaves, the iconic dome ‘hovering’ above the museum-city is a complex, geometric structure of 7,850 unique stars, repeated at various sizes and angles in eight different layers. To the wonder of visitors, as the sun passes through these perforations in the dome it creates an inspiring, cinematic effect called the ‘rain of light’. This showering of light on the galleries and visitors underneath it, represents a number of deeper metaphors as expressed through the museum’s universal narrative. A visit to the Lourve is an awe-inspiring chance to study and witness a modern masterpiece destine to influence architectural design in the New Middle East.

Cultural activities

Students will have the opportunity to engage culturally in how the Emiratis live in Abu Dhabi as the Gulf’s seat of learning and intellectual culture.

Students will engage in formal activities that includes visits to key architectural buildings and installations. Students will learn from architects, planners and urban designers that were involved in shaping contemporary Abu Dhabi.

Saadiyat Island is a tourism-cultural project for nature and Emirati heritage and culture. Saadiyat Island is expected to become Abu Dhabi’s cultural centre, mostly for The island’s Cultural District that is expected to include eight museums designed by architects such as
Jean Nouvel, Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid.

Travel and accommodation

Flights and accommodation for this opportunity will be booked by the Faculty.

Contact details

Visa information

If you have a British Citizen passport, you can purchase a 30 day visitor visa upon arrival in. You may need to provide evidence of a return or onward ticket. Students of other nationalities should check the entry requirements on the UAE Embassy website.

Further information will be provided to all accepted students who require a visa, regarding the type of visa required and how to apply for it, at the pre-departure session. If you have any specific questions about this please email for advice. If a visa is required, you are responsible for applying for one and ensuring that you do so with sufficient time to receive the visa prior to departure. Please be aware that immigration decisions are made by individual embassies.

Key Information

  • Departure date: Saturday 24 February 2018
  • Return date: Friday 2 March 2018
  • Estimated cost of travel and accommodation: £600
  • Students will also be required to pay for: UK and in-country transfers, food and drink, visa (if applicable)
  • #DMUglobal bursary: £400
  • Deadline for application: Monday 30 October 2017 9am