Burj Khalifa Shilia

This article by Steven Heller in the Atlantic about the design of the Arabic font Burj Khalifa Shilia in Dubai may be of interest to some Forum members:


Dr. Mamoun Sakkal

Mamoun's picture

For additional information on Shilia typeface family please see

For additional information on Burj Khalifa Shilia please see

hrant's picture


BTW, wasn't there an[other] Arabic for Univers designed a few years ago? I remember seeing it in Eye (or maybe Print) magazine.


Mamoun's picture

Thank you Hrant.
Nadine Chahine designed a companion Arabic for Univers in 3 weights, and Pascal Zughbi designed at least one weight of a companion Arabic. However, I am not aware of any magazine article on these two fonts.

John Hudson's picture

Congratulations, Mamoun.

The idea of multiple non-Latin companion designs for the same Latin typeface is something that has interested me ever since I designed new Greek and Cyrillic companions for Helvetica. It seems to me that each companion design harmonises with different aspects of the Latin, and this is possible because only within a single script is it possible to harmonise all aspects.

aratypo.net's picture


Since its first days, I used Shilia for my presentations!

This is an exciting typeface; it attracts professional's eye to titles and keywords of knowledge and I would like to take the occasion to thank you for this excellent artwork.

Mamoun's picture

Thanks John.

You are right, different Arabic companions to Latin typefaces focus on certain aspects of compatibility and thus may be useful in certain settings or for different applications.

The same is true about multiple Latin companions to Arabic typefaces. I have used Shilia successfully with Univers, Helvetica, and in the case of Burj Khalifa with Foundry Sans.

Mamoun's picture

Thank you for your kind comments Oussama, it is gratifying to receive the appreciation of a serious practitioner of Arabic typography like yourself.

I follow your work and admire your efforts. With my best wishes.

hrant's picture

John, that is indeed an interesting -and essentially valid- point. However when you look at delivering long text things get much narrower and some tight ideals can -and need to- be aimed for.


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