Co-founder of U+A, a large Dubai-based architecture firm that was shortlisted in four categories at MEA Awards 2018, Pedram Rad has worked alongside Martin Dufresne to grow the in-house team to 139 members. With 65 qualified architects – an above-average percentage – it would seem that Rad is successfully leading an increasingly influential firm. This year, the architects at U+A saw the completion of a range of projects, including Deyaar Millennium Hotel, Swiss International School (phase three), Emaar South (phase one) and Rosebay Residential Development. 2019 will see even more residential, hospitality and mixed-use projects, such as four Emaar residential developments, Deyaar Midtown Development, Deyaar Millenium Hotel, Damac Ventura, Marriot Hotel and many more. Most recently, as well, U+A has established a research and development sector under “U+A University”, which trains and assists team members, allowing them to grow within the company structure. It also keeps staff updated with design technology, offering BIM training, leadership training, and FIDIC contract administration. 2018 also saw U+A’s expansion westward, with a new office opening in the UK. According to Rad, the company’s most important corporate social responsibilities include bringing national and cultural approaches to business, and contributing to sustainable development, including the health and welfare of end-users.