Sowwah Square / Goettsch Partners

© Lester Ali

Architects: Goettsch Partners
Location: Al Maryah Island, , UAE
Design Team: Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure
Area: 529,400 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Lester Ali, Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure, Michele Nastasi, Aerial Image

Structural Engineering: Oger International; Thornton Tomasetti, Inc.
Mep Engineering: Oger International; Environmental Systems Design, Inc.
Main Contractor: Oger Abu Dhabi

© Michele Nastasi

Sowwah Square is a major new commercial development on Abu Dhabi’s Al Maryah Island (formerly Sowwah Island). The city’s new urban framework plan, entitled Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, has designated the previously undeveloped island and the adjacent edges of Mina Zayed and Reem Island as the city’s new Central Business District.

© Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure


The project totals over 290,000 square meters of office space and features the iconic new headquarters building for the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange surrounded by four office towers, all overlooking the water. In addition, the project integrates two levels of retail and two parking structures.

© Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure


The centerpiece of the development’s first phase is the business center, which includes a 21,650-square-meter stock exchange building, four Class A office towers totaling 271,750 square meters, parking for approximately 5,000 cars, and 23,220 square meters of retail. The complex emphasizes a sustainable design approach throughout and looks beyond the LEED certification process to integrate both active and passive sustainable design strategies.

© Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure

As the distinctive new headquarters of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the stock exchange building is an iconic, four-level facility. Glass-enclosed with a roof the size of a football field, the building rises 27 meters above a 49-meter-diameter water feature on massive stone piers. The four granite piers house the stairs, mechanical risers and service elements for the exchange. The building projects an image of strength and solidity as it overlooks the water facing back toward the city’s existing downtown.

© Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure

Four office towers frame the stock exchange building: two at 31 stories and the other two at 37 stories. The first full office floor of each building starts 34 meters above the ground level, providing a highly transparent, open lobby and elevating the views on all tenant floors. A landscaped plaza connects the four buildings and the exchange.

© Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure

Beneath the plaza, a two-story retail podium weaves through the development, providing upscale shopping along the waterfront. At the north and south boundaries of the site, two parking structures, partially submerged, serve the complex with more than 2,400 parking spaces each.

Ground Floor Plan

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Sowwah Square / Goettsch Partners" 16 Jul 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>