Retirement communities

Interview with Craft of Architecture (COA) about their work on the landmark later-living development, Rimaal Village in Dubai.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Client: Avida
Project: Rimaal Village
Location: Dubai

Rimaal Village by Avida, recently launched at Bvlgari Yacht Club in Dubai, is a landmark later-living project in partnership with renowned architects, Craft of Architecture (COA).

We asked the founding partners to talk us through some of the concepts and design choices working on such a ground-breaking project.

Rimaal Village, designed around the lifestyle pillars of Avida: Community, Living, Wellness & Wealth

Q: Why did Avida decide to partner with COA on this project?

A: “We offered Avida a strong background in prestigious later-living projects. It was important to them that we understood the challenges and could bring our creativity, innovation, and know-how to such a unique project, and the first in the UAE.”

Q: What was the client’s vision for this project?

A: “Avida wanted this project to focus on lifestyle, rather than real estate. They wanted something unique that had not been done before, whilst challenging the perception of ageing and redefining how we approach life in our later years. The project had to revolve around the four defining lifestyle pillars of Avida: Community, Living, Wellness & Wealth.”

Q: With such a unique vision and request from the client, how did you integrate this into the design?

A: “Developing a one-of-a-kind narrative for the Avida brand was a challenge worth taking, given that there is no other brand quite like it out there. To construct a compelling narrative, we meticulously developed the storyline starting with the foundational building blocks such as the location, local history, and culture. We then proceeded to examine these elements from a broader global perspective, allowing us to craft a more comprehensive and captivating narrative.”

The foundational building blocks such as the location, local history, and culture

Q: Could you tell us a little more about the Key Features of the development?

A: “Rimaal Village has a distinctive approach to urban planning, which revolves around the creation of 150 apartments and 50 villas, beautiful gardens, sport facilities, and a large Village Centre. This design fosters a peaceful and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, where residents can enjoy shopping, leisure, health, dining, business, well-being, and sport facilities in a luxury setting, all easily accessible by foot.”

Q: With the Village Centre being a key part of the lifestyle and design, what amenities are included?

A: “The 8000 sq. metre Village Centre offers a luxurious experience with an array of outstanding facilities such as a boutique shopping centre, state-of-the-art offices and boardrooms for business meetings, a well-stocked library, and a multi-function room for hosting events. The centre also includes a lounge bar and an upscale restaurant for dining, a cinema for movies, and a games room for snooker. For relaxation and wellness, there is a luxurious spa and wellness centre and a modern gym. Visitors can also enjoy bowling at the bowling alley or shop for essentials at the premium supermarket. The Village Centre offers a variety of activities and amenities for everyone to enjoy. The project includes a resort-style swimming pool, surrounded by lush tropical landscaping, making it the perfect place to unwind and relax. In addition to bowling, padel, and tennis, residents can also enjoy a rest pavilion that provides a space for refreshments and relaxation.”

Village Centre – wellness spa

Q: What are the design elements that set this project apart?

A: “Many, from the master planning principles to the handrail details of the stairs. The master plan has been designed to create a sense of community through the creation of various neighbourhoods and clusters that facilitate interaction and socialisation among the residents. With the Village Center in the middle and an extensive system of both open and covered pathways interconnects every aspect of the area, providing easy and convenient access to all its parts.”


“The villas have been carefully designed to provide an easy and seamless flow, along with enhanced visibility and absolute convenience. The facades are a testament to the inner workings of the home, with the ground floor being open for living activities and the upper floor being dedicated to bedrooms, with a more sculptural facade that frames stunning views and offers privacy where needed.”

Villa with entertainment and garden space

Q: Could tell us a little more about the sustainability, materials, and passive design features for this project?

A: “To effectively convey the concept of layered narrative and differentiate between planes and surfaces, we carefully selected a diverse range of marbles and stones, each with their unique tones and textures. Through deliberate contrast and careful arrangement, we were able to create a visual representation of the passage of time and the interplay between different elements. The designs maximise the use of natural lighting to create a bright and welcoming environment. Large windows and skylights can bring in ample daylight, reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day. We have focused on good indoor air quality by using materials that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ensuring proper ventilation, and incorporating air purification systems if needed. This contributes to a healthier and more comfortable living environment. For the outdoor spaces and gardens, we incorporated patios, decks, or gardens where residents can relax and enjoy nature.”

The designs maximise the use of natural light

Q: How do you create that sense of community through design?

A: “The master plan centrescenters around a sense of community through the creation of various neighbourhoods and clusters that facilitate interaction and socialisation among the residents. A system of conveniently connected walkways provides easy access to all parts of the project, including the vibrant village centre. The walkways are seamlessly integrated into the verdant landscaping, where one can meander past refreshing water features, immersing oneself in nature’s beauty.”

Village Centre lounge and bar area

Q: How does this community-led design impact the quality of lifestyle for the residents?

A: “The utmost care has been taken to design a serene and tranquil environment, offering the residents a peaceful retreat. At the same time, the community offers a myriad of opportunities for the residents to engage and connect with their fellow community members. As we age, it becomes increasingly important to maintain a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Staying active and mentally stimulated is crucial to achieving this. To help seniors achieve this goal, we have taken great care to design environments that promote and facilitate such a lifestyle. These spaces are thoughtfully crafted with features that encourage physical activity, social interaction, and mental engagement. The result is an environment that supports a healthy and happy life for seniors.”

Integrated socialising and living spaces

Q: When was the project launched?
A: “Rimaal Village was officially launched on the 16th of November at Bvlgari Yacht Club in Dubai. The successful launch by Avida was an elegant event, which was wonderful for us to attend with all the other collaborators on the project.”
To read more about the launch, click here