New York-based international architecture firm SOMA, is a collective of architects, designers, and creatives founded by Michael Abboud in 2004. The firm’s design and work incorporate craft, digital technologies, and environmental responsibility. They have attracted critical acclaim for their boundary-pushing nature with an exclusive range of projects of – hospitality, mixed-use developments, luxury residences, and condominiums. 

SOMA’s rising work has not just been remarkable but also shown the firm’s cutting-edge appeal. They believe working in a virtual space of organizational tools while spreading concrete structures and materials makes the result iconic.

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Iconic Shaza Doha ©

The Shaza Hotel is a significant milestone for a project by SOMA Architects. Located in Doha, it is bound to become a landmark in the Qatari capital’s skyline as Qatar aims at reviving the historical downtown of Doha, and the district is under constant transformation. 

Moreover, the hotel will be within walking distance from major tourist attractions like the Museum of Islamic Art, the Souq Waqif, and the Qatar National Museum. Shaza Doha combines art, culture, and business due to its location near Musheireb for attracting the leisure and business market and at a crossroad between the Museum of Islamic Art and the National Museum promoting art and culture. 

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Emerging Shaza in Doha Skyline ©

Doha is a great modern city in the making, and the flourishing skyline is a contributing factor. With the city’s cultural district spread all-round, Shaza Doha acts as a perfect address for the exploration around. 

SOMA’s design philosophy is to work closely with clients to understand their needs and desires concerning the external constraints in today’s ever-changing cycle of occupancy and uses of the building. They focus on providing adaptable planning so buildings evolve with users. The same approach is for the Shaza Doha as it would serve guests looking for the most luxurious and innovative designs keeping in mind the belief of Shaza hospitality as a brand. 

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Modern Mashrabiya Design on Facade ©
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Facade Skin Concept ©

Shaza Doha’s iconic facade is its most outstanding design feature. The unique Islamic-inspired glass facade by SOMA gives the building a regional identity with its culturally charged motif. The sleek glass facade reminds of local tradition and engages the users to appreciate the art and culture of the place. 

The arabesque pattern is silk-screened onto the glass and manipulated parametrically to create a translucent “mashrabiya” (Islamic window screen). This splendid facade is an outcome of Grasshopper design software, and it serves as a key element of Islamic architecture. 

The “mashrabiyas” or window screens are a way of protecting privacy in Islamic architecture and are on the upper floors of the building, hence the 15 floors hotel has this intriguing facade. The smooth glass facade is designed considering the desert climate. The environmental benefit of this facade is to protect the interiors from sandstorms and temperatures over 46 degrees C (common in Qatari capital) and maintain optimal conditions. The density of mashrabiya on the glass changes depending on where more or less light is to be allowed into the structure.

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Typical Floor Plan ©
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Mezzanine Floor Plan ©
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Roof Plan ©

With its mesmerizing architectural design on the exterior, the hotel has equally elegant interior spaces. With 171 guestrooms and suites, Shaza Doha has a luxurious range of three themed restaurants additionally, the hotel holds a hammam steam room, a spa and gym, a rooftop pool and cafe, a business lounge, and event spaces. 

The significant spaces in the hotel bridge art, culture, and business in a refined experience. The heritage and spirit of the hotel are marked by the remarkable work on the color palettes and the suite designs. There are detailed geometric arabesque patterns inside the room spaces that create a fascination for art in the user’s mind. 

Thoughtful color combinations define comfort for the guestrooms. The Shaza Hammam and Spa offers a timeless journey shaped by centuries-old customs and traditions, and is a refuge from the world where visitors can revive and calm the senses. 

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Shaza Hotel Lobby ©
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Shaza Doha Deluxe Room ©

Inspired by the most celebrated historic silk trade routes, the three themed restaurants are designed, namely: Silk (67 seats), Grand Trunk Road (62 seats), and Midan (66 seats). The Silk celebrating the tastes taken from the easternmost stretch of the route while the Grand Trunk Road takes the visitors to discover the routes from Kabul, Pakistan to Delhi, Lucknow, and Bengal in India. The rooftop cafe and pool space, namely: Sky Garden has a perfect setting for great evenings in Doha. With 52 seats, the rooftop lounge has a unique view with luxurious amenities. 

The culture and history are very well accompanied, with a sense of comfort and royalty for the users. Inspired by Islamic and Arab architecture, the place is beautifully molded into a modern setting ranging from the smallest details to an overall view of the hotel.  

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Shaza Doha Themed Restaurant ©
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Shaza Doha Themed Restaurant ©

Michael Abboud, the founder of SOMA said, “The hotel will serve guests looking for the utmost in luxury and innovative design and upon completion, it will be a key element in an area undergoing an incredible transformation. We are proud to add our distinctive design to this emerging skyline.” 

And in a sense, Shaza Doha is an architectural marvel by SOMA that defines its hospitality with every aspect of art, culture, and business. Carefully focusing on the user demands and needs, architects have kept the belief of Shaza Hotels their priority.  


Shevi Saxena is an ambitious architecture student with a keen eye to learn more every day. She can ponder and research over the smallest occurrence related to architecture any day and write about it. With an eager interest to learn about the history and its implementation today, she believes that architecture should give the comfort back to the users and nature.