Al Karamah School is Abu Dhabi’s first special needs institution dedicated solely to serving local pupils on the autism spectrum living in the UAE’s capital.

Following on from the success of the school since opening in 2019, a new Learning & Training institute has recently been delivered to provide facilities for up to 64 young people aged 16 and upwards. The facility will provide further support and training as well as additional education for more advanced skills that can be applied directly to specific jobs or career paths.

Vocational training is a key aspect of providing further education to groups of learners who may wish to take an alternative path to going directly into the workplace or progressing through the higher education system. The school has been designed to provide an engaging learning environment, whilst ensuring pupils feel safe and secure. This includes a series of different teaching spaces to accommodate a more flexible pedagogical model, which can be used for various subjects and skills. These include accountancy & numeracy, computer programming & digital media, design technology & arts and sewing & print hubs. Spaces are adapted as very specific learning hubs, which can be fitted out to reflect a modern office workplace or a radio broadcasting centre, all supported by full-time teaching staff and support facilities.

With the particular sensitivity of this particular cohort, a new swimming pool and internal play block have also been introduced to provide additional air-conditioned sports facilities and the ability for water play for all ages. These spaces support the therapeutic and educational environment for the pupils with dedicated spaces for various aspects of therapy and stimulation which relieves the pressure on the main sports hall which shall continue to be used by the older pupils.

Black & White were appointed to provide employer’s requirements, design guardianship and technical advisory services for the MEP services. We also acted as the Estidama PQP for the design stages.

“It is recognized that young people with autism can find education extremely challenging” says Dan Williams, our Project Leader. “Our extensive experience in servicing projects for students with autism enables the specialists to break negative cycles, create the right environments and deliver the necessary support needed for a young person to achieve in all areas of their development”.

Our experienced team were able to provide unprecedented levels of expertise to ensure a world class, sustainable facility has been delivered that supports all its learners with as much flexibility as required.

The project was a fast-track project, meaning that design and installation often had to overlap. The team were able to ensure that the engineering was right first time, which ensured a smooth delivery.

We are very proud that the school was a Project of the Year Finalist at the Middle East Consultant Awards 2020.