Client story

Heriot-Watt University Dubai

Setting new standards for Middle East education facilities


Heriot-Watt University


Knowledge Village, Dubai, UAE


Project Management, Cost Management, Sustainability Services, HSE Management


April 2019 - January 2021


218,000 sq ft


LEED Gold Accredited 


Over 1,000,000 man-hours without Lost Time Injury

“The development of this campus is a testament to our continued commitment towards offering world class education and enviable infrastructure to our students. Our new campus building has been designed keeping the future student experience in mind; we believe that the supportive environment will allow us to deliver inspiring learning, increase academic success, cutting edge research and the holistic development of our students.”

Prof Ammar Kaka, Provost and Vice Principal at Heriot-Watt University Dubai

Founded in 1821, Heriot-Watt University was the first British university to set up a campus in Dubai in 2005 and is known as a pioneer within the UAE higher education market, attracting students from all over the Middle East.

Recognising the need for a larger campus to accommodate its rapidly growing student population, Heriot-Watt appointed JLL to provide Project Management, Cost Management, Sustainability Services and HSE Management to support the delivery of their new facility.


The project, delivered to a demanding timeline, involved retrofitting and renovating two office buildings at Knowledge Park Avenue. This included extensive demolition and structural works to convert the multi-tenant spaces into a technology-rich learning hub with modern design and sustainable features.

Managing stakeholders from multiple departments, including faculty, IT and security teams with varying requirements, across three different time zones added to the complexity of the project.


Through our expertise, we established an efficient phasing and sequencing of works program to realise Heriot-Watt’s bold ambition. We engaged the lead design consultant and contractor through a multi-staged tender process to ensure certainty of expertise and best value in time and cost.

Although the project encountered complications along the way, we worked closely with the various stakeholders, lead designer and contractor to quickly adapt and rectify to ensure timely completion within budget.


Heriot-Watt University Dubai officially opened its doors in April 2021. Spanning 218,000 sq ft across seven floors, it serves nearly 4,000 students with eight carefully designed teaching spaces to deliver different learning experiences.

Unlike traditional lecture theatres, the campus houses collaborative lecture theatres, which offer booth style seating to encourage small group discussions and group challenges at appropriate points, pod rooms that are designed to offer group-based learning and the sharing of learning between teachers and peers via interconnected PCs and screens, and teaching and seminar rooms which have been designed as flexible spaces for a range of classroom learning and teaching activities.

It also features 13 laboratories, studios, and workshops covering energy, robotics, psychology, computer science, information technology, and engineering furnished with the latest technology and equipment.

Heriot-Watt University Dubai is also the only campus in the UAE to have achieved LEED Gold certification. Some key metrics achieved include:

  • 46% reduction in water use compared to LEED’s baseline water consumption
  • 94% of all equipment and appliances are Energy Star compliant and optimise energy performance
  • 34% reduction in lighting power consumption compared to ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1–2010’s baseline rates to optimise energy performance
  • 98% of the lighting load is connected to occupancy sensors to optimise energy performance
  • 63% of the lighting load is connected to daylight sensors to optimise energy performance