AL-Mafraq Hospital is a tertiary care hospital that was established in year 1983, its name “Al-Marfaq” is derived from the Arabic word Marfaq which means “meeting of roads”, This gives a descriptive view of where the hospital is located as it is located at 35 kilometers southeast of the United Arab Emirates capital, Abu-Dhabi which is at the intersection of major roadways. It possesses a built-up area of 26,50,000 SF which consists of a 500-bed space that serves as a general hospital and a referral center for clinical specialties in Abu-Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. The Hospital consists of clinical departments, non-clinical departments, and tertiary facilities which serve an average of 1000 patients out-patients per day and 500 patients monthly being performed in the surgical hospital alone. The hospital makes use of a computerized system of medical records which maintains a fast and accurate method of recording the huge turnout of patients.

The Clinical department is made up of the Medical department which is concerned with Neurology, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, and communicable diseases, the orthopedic department is concerned with conditions that involve the musculoskeletal system, the ophthalmology department which deals with the treatment and conditions relating to the eye, the Physical medicine departments that deal with physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and the Urology department which deals with the treatment of urinary tract infected organs.

The non-clinical department is made up of the radiology department, Nuclear medicine department, and laboratories which are equipped with the latest technologies and infrastructures that facilitate and provide efficient services to their patients.

The tertiary facilities are made up of a Cardiology unit, Cardiac Surgery Unit, Renal Transplantation unit, Burns Unit, Plastic Surgery Unit, Neonatology unit, and Oncology Service unit which are all equipped with the latest technologies and facilities that services rendered to their patients.

Alongside these departments, Al-Mafraq Hospital has a center for the continuity of medical education which consists of a library and a medical research institute.

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Front view of Al-Mafraq Hospital showing the intersection of roads_© In design studio

Design Philosophy

Al-Mafraq Hospital’s design originates from the symbol “healing hands” which is an ancient symbol of the Native Americans; this illustrates positive energy, healing, power, strength, good luck, and fortune. The healing hand symbol is used to illustrate different departments of the hospital. The hospital’s design philosophy is to have a structure that improves the health and mental well-being of its patients in addition to improving the health and mental well-being of its patients. They are also designed to improve a sustainable and green environment.

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Front view of Al-Mafraq Hospital showing its four towers_© In design studio.

Design Style

The design style of Al-Mafraq Hospital shows a functional, segregated yet cohesively integrated style of Architecture and this is well depicted using the hand symbol. It is distinguished by a mid-rise level and four towers that house 10-12 floors.. The Mid-rise level which is the approach view of the hospital is for the out-patient clinic while the four towers behind occupy the in-patient healthcare facilities which range from maternity to trauma to orthopedics to oncology to diagnostics and rehabilitation. This floor of the towers also houses the nurse’s station and control centers for patients, patient wards, 2 royal suites, and 32 VVIP suites. The mid-rise level and towers are separated by the hospital entrance and drop-off which makes the layout functional, clear, and easy to navigate. The building design also incorporated levels of basement floors which serve as parking areas and where some support and MEP services are housed. Apart from the Hospital and entrance drop-off, there is a drop-off at the rearview of the towers which serves the VIPs, and a drop-off at the right-hand side for emergencies.

To foster more integration, the hospital design employs the Wadi style landscape design which specializes in creating landscapes that are beautiful, sustainable, and in harmony with nature.

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Approach view of Al-Mafraq Hospital showing the mid-rise level and 4 different towers © In design studio.
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Outpatient clinic and waiting area_© In design studio.
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Bridge linking the outpatient clinic to the in-patient department_© In design studio.

Design Materials

Al Mafraq Hospital is located in a harsh desert climate; The design makes use of materials that help mitigate the harsh conditions of its climate by making an environment that is healing, comfortable, and conducive for users. These materials include; 

  • The use of a layered fenestration and façade system that provides proof against heat.
  • A well-calibrated shading system; that provides good natural lighting.
  • Provision of green systems that make water, energy, and waste efficient during construction and post-construction.
  • Sunscreens to mitigate the rays from the sun.
  • Special floors to cater to patients in need of privacy or attention.
  • Use of Large Windows to provide more lighting to spaces.
  • The use of fire resistance and acoustic walls; to protect its building against fire and noise from outside and within indoor spaces.
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facade cladding is used to reduce thermal heat_© In design studio.
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Fire  and noise resistance walls separating wards_© In design studio.

It is not a surprise that Al-Mafraq Hospital has been awarded the Project of the Year, Best Hospital Design, 2019 GCC Winner, MEED Project, highly commended, and 2012 Hospital build due to its technologically advanced, sustainable, and green systems. Thereby creating a state-of-the-art healthcare design that is magnificent, contemporary, and caters to the mental well-being of its patients.


Al Mafraq Hospital (no date) Helen Ziegler and Associates. Available at: (Accessed: 05 January 2024).

Mafraq Hospital: Abu Dhabi, UAE (no date) DrFive. Available at: (Accessed: 05 January 2024).

Mafraq Hospital (2022) AE7. Available at:  (Accessed: 05 January 2024).

Al Mafraq Hospital (2023) INI Design Studio. Available at: (Accessed: 06 January 2024).

Al Mafraq Hospital: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Gyproc, Saint-Gobain. Available at: (Accessed: 10 January 2024).



Belejit Okwa is a Graduate Architect and a research writer whose dream is to become a Lecturer. She is inspired to be one of the greatest authors of Architecture in her country, thus she has become resilient and focuses on article writing that tends to observe, find and resolve prevailing issues of designs in the Africa Continent.