After a brief post graduate experience in Turkey, Ali took up permanent residence in London and joined GMW, where he later became a partner in 1984 and a senior partner in 1991 responsible for joint management of the practice and leadership of design projects.

Following the completion of the New International Terminal at Istanbul Atatürk Airport that brought him back to Turkey, he established GMW MIMARLIK.

In 2005, he stood down as a partner of the London practice and shares his time between London and Istanbul.