About us

Your landscape design partners

In 2006 alshamsi terra firma was established in Dubai, UAE as a joint venture between Alshamsi Holdings and the terra firma consultancy ltd, aimed at developing a landscape architecture business in the Emirates also serving the rest of the Gulf and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region. The practice is now one of the Gulf's leading landscape architect consultancies with projects varying in scale from masterplanning major new settlements through to detailed design of individual villas, schools, hotels and corporate headquarters.

The practice is headed up by UK Director Lionel Fanshawe (pictured here shaking hands with Shamis Alshamsi at the firm's launch in January 2006) in partnership with Alshamsi Holdings and resident alshamsi terra firma director Alistair Walby.

International landscape architect consultancy

The terra firma consultancy was established in Portsmouth nearly 30 years ago in 1985 and right from the start was involved in projects overseas in the USA and Europe as well as across the length and breadth of the UK. Together with alshamsi terra firma the two offices have to date worked in 29 countries across 6 continents.

The scope of the practices' work engages in every sector; strategic landscape masterplans, landscape design for private estates and gardens, upmarket apartments and villas, prestigious corporate headquarters, hotels, resorts, health and community care complexes; sports and leisure centres, school, college and university buildings, heritage schemes, retail schemes, industrial and office complexes, public parks and open space, theme parks, urban streetscape, waterside developments, inner-city action programmes, sustainable community initiatives etc.

In 2013 tf-LAB London was set up to serve as a vehicle for some of the firm’s long term, high profile collaborators in high end, capital and international projects and in 2014 terra firma LT in Vilnius to service the Baltic states.

Project awards

National Newspaper
Best of the Best; Manarat al Saadiyat

25th December 2010

"the real pleasure in this garden comes from the ways in which its designers, the Dubai based landscape designers alshamsi terra firma have managed to create a richly detailed and contemporary landscape from a humble palette of concrete blocks, cobbles and kerbs and readily available plants."

Middle East Architects Awards
Residential Project of the Year and Sustainable Design of the Year


alshamsi terra firma worked closely with Aedas Architects on the Aino Mina residential masterplan project in Kandahar. The awards recognize projects and architects who have made a significant impact throughout the MENA region. In winning two awards “Receiving these awards is not only a recognition of Aedas’ design work and commitment to the region but a tremendous achievement for the team, congratulations to all involved.

Landscape Middle East Magazine

March 2013

In March 2013, a detailed interview was carried out with Alistair Walby in his role as resident director of alshamsi terra firma.

Read the interview

Practice credentials

alshamsi terra firma is a landscape architecture consultancy with a Trade License registered in Ras Al Khaimah specifically listing ‘Landscaping Engineering Services’. There is no equivalent to landscape architecture in Arabic. The company is a UK Landscape Institute Registered Practice.

The terra firma consultancy ltd obtained Investors in People Status in 2004 and is Quality Assured to ISO 9001 (2000) keeping both current, following regular reappraisals. In March 2013 the company obtained ISO 14001 (2004) environmental accreditation.

These systems and policies cascade through all the working practices of alshamsi terra firma

Key sectors

alshamsi terra firma has worked directly and indirectly for the public sector; from the Engineer’s Office in Dubai and the UAE Military and for private sector clients such as developers Emaar, Aldar, TDIC, Meraas and Damac; hotel projects operated by Southern Sun, Hilton International, Marriott Hotels, Four Season and the FRHI Hotels and Resorts (Fairmont); GEMS schools and individual private clients working on villas; on plots from 3.6hectares to 1,200m2 and an even larger palace in Doha, Qatar.

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