Superior Design & Innovation



Established in 1981

Founded in 1981 jointly by Mr. Obaid Ghanim A. R. Al Mutaiwie and Mr. Sham Kolhatkar, Al Wasl Al Jadeed Consultants (AWAJ) is a leading firm of consulting architects with special expertise in the design of commercial, industrial and residential properties.

Our founders vision was to fill an important niche in the field of architecture and formed a local design practice to meet individual client needs within the Middle East. Our practice soon developed into an integrated firm, with the addition of specific disciplines like engineering, to compliment our architectural expertise.

As a 100% local establishment, we retain a full staff of architects and planners while also providing consulting services. The service package we provide embraces most aspects of engineering projects, namely architectural, town planning, civil, structural, electrical and mechanical engineering.

Our prime objective is to make our buildings attractive, sustainable and built to last. We pride ourselves with the ability to bring creative solutions to any design challenge that comes our way and always deliver the best experience our firm can offer.

We are recognized as being one of the leading architectural firms in the UAE today, with nearly four decades of experience and over 300 clients served. Our efficiency and potential has significantly evolved and we now cater to clients in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Our Approach

Experts ready to serve

Our design philosophy is simple; each client is unique and the design prepared for them should reflect this. Context, culture, and community motivate and inspire the work of AWAJ. Our design practices are direct and expressive of structure and purpose, and committed to both human utility and environmental sustainability. Responsive, relevant design must embrace innovation. To this end, we propose architectural solutions that are respectful of the past, but speak to the present through new applications of technology and materials.

Commitment To Sustainable Design
As company policy, we strongly advocate sustainable design solutions for all projects. Our views are presented to all our clients with an option, to appoint a specialist LEED consultant to monitor the progress of the design and project. It is in our own interest as global citizens that we view our options and make decisions on Architectural, Structural & MEP solutions that are environment friendly.

Design is the most important element in the creation of a new building, renovation or extension. Every building site is unique and has its own set of challenges and possibilities. It is our responsibility to be aware of and overcome these problems, while making the most of the possibilities. At AWAJ, we have a well-documented and specific system in place to monitor and control quality of all documents produced and published for distribution externally as well as internally.

Resources and Technology
In today’s era, keeping with the pace of changing technology is a challenge faced by everyone. Our forward thinking practices utilize some of todays most advanced digital technologies and is fashioned in direct response to the latest emerging movements in our industry. We aim to achieve satisfaction using by using current and cutting-edge resources, and encourage our staff to attend seminars, training programs that keep them up-to-date with the latest software and design trends out there today.


About the founders

Mr. Obaid Ghanim A. R. Al Mutaiwie

Chairman and Managing Partner

Mr. Ghanim is the owner and founder of the Obaid Ghanim group and the head of one of the few families to first inhabit Dubai. He was initially educated in the United Arab Emirates prior to his career with the National Oil Company of Abu Dhabi as a trainee engineer and eventually obtained a British electrical engineering qualification.

He continued his career in engineering, reporting developments daily to the Ruling family. Since the completion of the Dry Docks in 1979, he has progressed to the chairmanship of the Dubai Ship Docking facility.

Mr. Sham Kolhatkar

Managing Partner

Mr. Kolhatkar, an Indian national studied in Mumbai where he took his diploma in architecture in 1968. He came to Dubai in 1971 and worked as a junior architect with M/S Cagdas and Associates on the Dubai Police Headquarters.

He later joined the Dubai Branch office of M/S Sabah Abi Hanna and Associates as a senior architect responsible for the Carlton Tower and the Carlton Hotel project in Dubai and Sharjah respectively. He met Mr. Obaid Ghanim in late 1981 and started Al Wasl Al Jadeed Consultants.


About our team

Our design staff consists of Architects, Engineers, Planners, Project Managers and CAD professionals who oversee the preparation of construction drawings and field observation and coordination. All are well versed in CAD programs and in job management.

Mangesh Shetye

Managing Director / Partner

From being one of the pioneers of AWAJ and after years of showing leadership and a dedication to his work, Mr. Shetye was promoted to Chief Architect. His consistent and excellent performance eventually exalted him as the company’s Managing Director & Partner, actively overlooking all the operations of the company.

As the firm’s overseer, he is responsible for a project’s initial conception, working firsthand with clients to communicate various design approaches that satisfy their specific functional and aesthetic needs. During the detailed design development that follows, Mangesh oversees the emerging documents for creative intent while materials and details are integrated as integral components of the design. He’s been teaching and practicing architecture for 31 years. As the Managing Director, he has completed a variety of high quality projects including campus master plans, university facilities, historic restoration and adaptive reuse, conference centers, city halls, religious buildings, retail projects, industrial parks, corporate headquarters, gated communities and private residences.

Jacob K. Thankachan, PMP

Operations Director

Mr. Thankachan’s ability to collaborate well with his clients from the beginning of each assignment serves him well in his role as Project Manager. With over 17 years of experience at AWAJ and his extensive exposure to the fields of project management, technical specifications, project delivery, cost management, contract administration and quality control, he has been able to successfully contribute his expertise for various prestigious projects from start to finish.

Dr. El Sayed Ibrahim, Ph.D

Head of Department – Structure

With over 18 years experience in structural analysis, design, preparation of construction drawings using all international codes of reinforced concrete and steel structures for all different structures. Dr. Ibrahim gained his experience working for a high profile structural consultancy in Egypt where he developed an eye for detail. In 2006 he moved to Dubai and began working with AWAJ. While developing leadership skills, he also earned a doctorate degree in reinforced concrete structures. Dr. Ibrahim is responsible for finalizing and designing the structure systems of various projects ranging from retail, commercial, residential and industrial high-rise towers as per American and British standards and requirements.

Mr. Dilip Karkare

Head of Department – Architecture

Since working with AWAJ for 16 years, Mr. Karkare’s experience as a Senior Architect is extensive in planning client and authority related dealings and production and management of construction documents for a wide variety of projects. His broad knowledge of architecture, design and construction of projects for public use bring an exceptional level of expertise to our quality control and specifications. Mr. Karkare’s experience includes university, ecclesiastic, public and institutional projects and has been involved in the completion of numerous large scale projects in the Emirates , including the Sea View Club Hotel at The Palm Jumeirah, Limitless Galleries on Sheik Zayed Road and Khalidiyah Shopping Mall in Abu Dhabi, just to name a few.

Mr. M.A. Raghuraman

Senior Architect

With over 12 years of experience in architecture, Mr. Raghuraman plays a vital role in the conceptualizing and completion of AWAJ’s major design projects. Mr. Raghuman has successfully completed various high-expensed projects, and has had the opportunity to work on multitude of commercial, residential and industrial projects in varying sizes and has been involved in all phases of design, including management of design coordination, programming and code compliance.