Where the Wild Things Are

In little over a year since completion, Lailak Street Park has become the wild place that the Emirates Hills Community asked for. There’s now no need for sailing to a faraway island inhabited by the Wild Things. The wild things are hiding in the jungle at the end of Lailak Street!

The community asked for a place where kids could explore, be challenged, learn how to assess risk through play, and let imagination run wild.   Continue Reading

Verdaus are growing!

Last month our office space doubled in size!

We have waited patiently for an opportunity to lease additional space adjacent to our current office. We are now in the process of deciding how to use the additional space. Everyone in our team gets a say and ideas are flooding in. The new office space comes at a good time as we plan to advertise new positions soon.

The past two years has been tremendous and we thank our clients for the repeated opportunities to work together in creating better places for life throughout the UAE. Thank you!

Lailak Street Park Update

Construction on the Lailak Street Park is progressing well. Paving is currently being installed and it is exciting to see the patterns coming to life. This is the first project we designed a bespoke paving pattern for 100% of the project site. The intent is to stimulate delight, interest, and imagination. Each area is designed with a specific pattern. In some areas the pattern is intentionally random and complex. Other areas reveal recognisable shapes, intended to stimulate spontaneous invention of new games. In these cases, the regular patterns and shapes could be used to measure distance or boundaries. Other examples are areas of purely dark or light paving that could be drawn on by the kids.

While it is exciting to watch the park coming to life, we can’t wait for the day the kids will arrive!


Congratulations to Pierre Smit for Passing First Year BSc Quantity Surveying Exams


Congratulations to Pierre Smit for passing his 2014 exams! Pierre is moving towards becoming a qualified quantity surveyor. He is studying a BSc Quantity Surveying at the College of Estate Management, University of Redding, UK.

Pierre has demonstrated enormous commitment and hard work to reach this important milestone. Pierre is studying part-time on top of his full-time employment at Verdaus. He has often played a key role in meeting project submissions under tight deadlines. Pierre has had a fair share of pressure over the past 12 months. The whole Verdaus team shared the joy of Pierre’s exam results when the news arrived. We are inspired by what can be achieved. Thanks Pierre! Let the good work continue.

Congratulations to Liuba Apostolova – OALA Associate Member


Big congratulations to Liuba Apostolova! Liuba was recently accepted as an Associate Member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA).

Liuba worked intensively over a period of weeks to submit a 430-page portfolio of work. Liuba received her acceptance letter with high praise on her “outstanding” portfolio.

Membership to a professional association such as the OALA, is an important step in career development, and for maintaining high standards for the profession.

Liuba is passionate about landscape architecture and urban design. Verdaus is on a mission, to create better places for life. We look forward to working with Liuba on the next stage of this journey.

The Oberoi Dubai

Reader’s of “Travel and Leisure – USA” voted the Oberoi Group as the world’s best hotel brand in 2013. See the list of Travel and Leisure’s top five, below.

Top five hotel brands in the world according to Leisure and Travel reader survey.

Top five hotel brands in the world according to Leisure and Travel reader survey.

Verdaus Landscape Architects was selected to design the external spaces of Oberoi’s new Dubai offering, “The Oberoi Dubai”.

A number of presentations were held in India, both Mumbai and Delhi. The Oberoi’s accommodated the entire consultant team in five star comfort. The experience of staying at an Oberoi hotel impressed me greatly. We couldn’t find fault with the style of service. People seemed genuinely warm and offered help when it was needed. Otherwise guests were allowed to go about their business without intrusion. They really got that mix right. The Oberoi run a training academy and we were told they mostly employ their own graduates.

One design presentation was held at the Oberoi “farmhouse” near Delhi. Laith Wark presented to the Executive Chairman, Mr P.R.S Oberoi, or “Biki” as he is popularly known. Mr Oberoi fired questions at the entire consultant team for a straight six hours! No break, sharp questions about all kinds of fine level details ranging from kitchens, to interior finishes, to structural engineering, to landscape architecture.

During the meeting Laith referred to the project simply as “Oberoi Dubai” to be quickly corrected by Mr Oberoi in front of the entire team, “THE Oberoi Dubai, and I’m very serious about that”. Laith sat back, “Mr Oberoi”, he said, “I have no doubt you’re serious about it”. Mr Oberoi smiled. Although he was very strict, he had a way with people.

After the meeting we felt committed to making the best possible landscape design for the Oberoi Dubai, because that’s clearly what Mr Oberoi wanted, and besides that, we felt that’s what he really deserved.

Verdaus Landscape Architects were appointed directly by the owner, Rani International.

The following photographs were made during a visit to The Oberoi Dubai shortly after the official opening.


SoharUniversity– Landscape Irrigation and Waste Water Treatment

Landscape Middle East Magazine recently covered a Verdaus project with a focus on integrated water resource management. The article, “SoharUniversity– Landscape Irrigation and Waste Water Treatment” is an interesting cover of how foresight, collaboration and innovation can offer environmental benefits and cost savings.


In 2007, Sohar University appointed a consultant team to prepare a new master plan.  Verdaus Landscape Architects LLC was part of the consultant team.  Later, during the detailed design stage, Sohar University commissioned Mizan Consult to prepare a Feasibility Study and then a design for a “Reed Bed” system for waste water treatment.  This design offers considerable advantages over the present system of removing waste water by tanker.  Intensive collaboration between Verdaus and Mizan identified ways to integrate the landscape irrigation and waste water treatment systems to provide further advantages. Continue Reading

Project update: Royal Opera House in Muscat

We visited the site for the Royal Opera House in Muscat last week and were impressed with progress. Almost all the concrete works were complete. The scale and proportion is now clear it looks right. We’re looking forward to seeing progress accelerate now.


Sohar University: Foundation Stone Ceremony

The ceremony for laying the foundation stone happened at Sohar University on 13 November 2010. This event was attended by Her Excellency Dr. Rawya Al Busaidiyah, The Minister of Higher Education; His Excellency Mahmood Al Jarwani, The Chairman of the Sohar University Board of Directors, Dr Abood Al Sawafi, The Vice Chancellor and other distiguished guests.

This day marked an important stage in the development of the Sohar University campus. In 2007 Verdaus were appointed by Sohar University to design the external areas of the campus. The master plan was a team effort with Verdaus, COWI (infrastructure engineers) and Earc (architects).  Construction is well underway on site with the structure for may of the buildings now rising up to level 2.

The gathering at the opening ceremony.

The perspective illustration belows shows an overview of what the campus will look like once the landscape is established.

Trees are an important feature of the campus. They shade the the main walking routes. Greens spaces have been shown to improve learning. Dense vegetation also links the character of the university campus with the agricultural character of the fertile Batinah Coast.

Perspective Illustration of Sohar University Campus

An overview of the campus when it is completed.

Verdaus are very pleased to be a part of the rewarding project and the mission to provide world class higher education in the Sultanate of Oman.

Verdaus use Land F/X software for accurate irrigation design

This post is based on the latest newsletter from Land F/X, a provider of Land Information Modelling software.

Every month, Land F/X highlights a success story from one of their valued clients. This month they feature Verdaus Landscape Architects with special thanks to Tarek Al Sheeti, our irrigation engineer, for input on using LFX.

Tarek has been using Land F/X for two years and describes the program as “a powerful tool to me as an irrigation designer. It helps me to focus on design principle issues rather than just sizing pipes, calculating flow rate, and other traditional tedious irrigation work.”

His success story deals with a 103 villas project at Emirates Golf Course in Dubai. Tarek describes it as a “fast track project. I was requested to submit the detailed design package within a week for area of 21000 square meters of net planted area. I had a challenge with how to assign irrigation equipment for each villa, to reflect the required flow and pressure. However, with Land F/X I could do everything needed, such as represent the drip irrigation system requirements inside each villa, and also having drip considered when I size the pipes. I was happy when I found out that I can assign an end cap from auxiliary equipment. I ended up assigning four types of end caps for each different villa type and distributed them over the plan.”

Verdaus also worked with a contractor who was incredibly impressed with the level of work done within the Land F/X program. The contractor was  surprised to see such  “accurate hydraulic calculations” as well as other detailed documentation. The contractor returned a project with virtually zero changes. Tarek describes that as “a declaration from the contractor – indirectly – that he could not do better.” This is a complement in a region where contractors are expected to complete the irrigation design. Later on, LFX were approached by the same contractor to enquire about their software.

Verdaus are very pleased with LFX. The software has allowed us to differentiate our services from others in the market by providing highly detailed and accurate irrigation design in the shortest time.