Nayyar Ali Zaidi was born in Delhi and migrated with his family to Pakistan in the 1950s. He received his architectural training from the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore. He was named 'Dada' by one of his teachers in recognition of his skills at drawing and painting.
His works have been recognized both at home and abroad. He pioneered the cause of conservation in Pakistan, and is a founding member of the Lahore Conservation Society. Mr. Dada is devoted to the education of young architects, and has been a lecturer at Lahore's National College of Arts since 1965; he was named a Fellow of the College in 1976. Mr. Dada is actively involved in the creative arts in Pakistan, both as watercolorist and as the director of a private gallery, and is a board member of and advisor to many cultural institutions. In 1992, Mr. Dada was presented with the President's Pride of Performance Award for his services to Pakistan. He is the only Pakistani architect to date who has received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1998 for the Alhamra Arts Center.
Mukhtar, Husain. "Trademark Dada." Dawn Gallery, March 30, 2002, 01-2.