Designer Profiled – Mahsa Gholizadeh

Mahsa Gholizadeh, founder of Design By Mahsa (DBM)

How long have you been a designer?

I embarked on my journey as an interior designer 12 years ago, driven by an inner spark that urged me to transition from graphic design – a path that had lost its sense of fulfilment. This pivotal moment led to the birth of DBM, a venture that unfolded organically.


Project by DBM

What prompted the launch of DBM?

Six years ago, I embarked on a new journey by establishing my own business. Organically, a few business owners within our network sought our exclusive expertise, resulting in simultaneous involvement in multiple projects. This pivotal juncture gave rise to DBM, a venture that naturally evolved from these collaborations. Today, DBM stands as a testament to organic growth, fuelled by passion, innovation and meaningful human relationships.

How has the company expanded over the years?

Our company’s expansion has been a gradual and natural progression. Our growth was propelled by referrals and word of mouth, underpinned by my distinctive essence and project approach.

In what countries does DBM design for?

While our roots have allowed us to thrive within the GCC region, particularly the UAE and Saudi Arabia, we’ve broadened our horizons. In the past year, our team has expanded, propelling us into the global arena. This expansion empowers us to undertake projects across the world, unbound by geographical limitations.

Standout project in the last year? What makes it unique? Any challenges or unique methods used for the design?

Two standout projects from last year deserve mention. The transformation of Talabat Headquarters in Dubai was a remarkable endeavour, with the building spanning an expansive 14,000 square metres. Our challenge involved converting a retail space into a commercial haven – a feat accomplished within a mere two and a half months, complete with a comprehensive design documentation package.

Equally significant was our flagship project: the design of Reef and Beef’s restaurant in Downtown Dubai. This endeavour stands out due to the meticulous infusion of bespoke and tailor-made elements throughout the restaurant’s design. The classic New York steakhouse reigned supreme in the 1920s. Now, 100 years later, this design has artfully blended tradition with Arabesque influences, resulting in a captivating reawakening. Encompassing 1,165 square metres, the restaurant features five distinct sections, each radiating its own unique charm. The establishment boasts five dining and bar experiences, seamlessly intertwined to create an overall sense of connection. These include the Grand Dining Gallery, The Reef Bar, The Manhattan, The Terrace and The R&B Lounge. Another notable facet of this design is the incorporation of seven key display features on the ground floor, showcasing more than 3,500 bottles of carefully selected wines, a seafood raw bar, a display of dry-aged meats, a cocktail presentation and a live open grill cooking station. Each of these enhancements contributes to the customer’s experience without overpowering the overall ambiance.

What are your goals for the company in the coming year?

In 2022, a new partner with extensive experience in hospitality and mixed-use development across 33 countries joined DBM. This partnership aims to diversify our international hospitality projects.

Any expansion plans? If yes, where, when and why?

In line with our growth strategy, we have rebranded the company this year from Design by Mahsa to DBM, which represents a broader business vertical globally. Furthermore, our focus is now directed towards Australia, inspired by the Australian heritage of both the founder and the new partner. This endeavour is motivated not only by expansion but also by a yearning to contribute to their home society, as DBM embarks on a journey in Australia.

Any projects DBM is working on at the moment?

At present, we’re fully immersed in an exhilarating project – a master plan that serves as an in-house venture for one of DBM’s partners. This ambitious project encompasses a mixed-use development, thoughtfully segmented into distinct experiences. The centrepiece is the golfing experience, complemented by inviting lounges, delectable restaurants and captivating retail stores. Notably, this concept is poised for global franchising, spanning numerous countries worldwide.

What does an ideal day look like for you?

My ideal day commences with an early wake-up, followed by an hour of meditation to set a peaceful tone. A tranquil morning walk further helps me centre myself, ensuring that I approach the day ahead with contentment and grounding. Design and work are more than just tasks for me; they are my passions that fuel my enthusiasm. I’ve realised that my enjoyment of work is closely tied to my immersion in the creative process. As the day comes to a close, returning home to share a cup of tea with my partner or indulging in the simple act of picking up a paintbrush and adding a stroke to a canvas brings a fulfilling sense of completion.

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