At home with the Sakrs in Jumeirah Islands

At home with the Sakrs in Jumeirah IslandsImage Credit: Atiq-ur-Rehman,

While throwing open the doors of your home to friends and family can be daunting, Rudolf and Zoya Sakr are no strangers to entertaining at their sprawling villa in Jumeirah Islands.

Rudolf owns the branding agency 2Pure, while Zoya is the editor-in-chief of websites owned by the couple.

The fact that this pair has an unapologetic taste for the finer things in life becomes apparent after being led through their backyard, which can best be described as an idyllic island getaway.

With a beautiful pool cradled in the centre of the beautiful backyard, and a wooden deck with a pergola inspired design, it is easy to see why this has been the stunning backdrop to many a barbecue and themed evening. What takes things up a notch is the fact that this spot offers a sweeping view of the Dubai skyline.

Rudolf seems to be the more sentimental of the two, a fact that is highlighted when he says, ''Every corner of the house has been inspired by our travels abroad, and the best example of this is the pergola, which was inspired by a memorable Maldivian holiday.''

The grand tour then begins indoors. While saving the best for last is a concept familiar to most, it is one that is almost alien to Rudolf and Zoya, who have taken great pains to ensure that no corner of their nest has been neglected.

Beautiful pieces of abstract modern art adorn almost every surface and the obvious question arises as to who this can be credited to.

Zoya is quick to put it all down to Rudolf. ''He studied art as part of his major and graduated in visual communication. So his love for art seems to filter into every aspect of his life. He never misses an opportunity to visit a gallery even when we're on holiday.''

The couple are united in their mutual love for modern artwork and give a little background on their personal favourite from New York - a painting of a nude woman by a Japanese artist whose mother was his muse.

On entering the lounge it's easy to see why anybody's eyes would immediately zero in on a dramatic statement wall. A perfect reflection of Rudolf's design ethic of allowing every room to have one focal point, this room lets the beautiful wallpaper do all the talking. Strongly reminiscent of a majestic African landscape, the customised tree art was brought to life by a Swedish wallpaper company.

Not detracting from this awe-inspiring work is a plush terracotta blue Ligne Roset sofa jazzed up with quirky Marilyn Monroe pop art cushions handpicked by Zoya from a London gallery.

The other piece de resistance in the room is an exquisite blue-and-gold metal sculpture of a man and woman, hand-in-hand. ''This is the work of a South African artist and was sourced from Design Days in Dubai,'' adds Rudolf.

Monochrome is a theme that holds strong throughout the house, and Zoya says this is a design aesthetic favoured by Rudolf.

In keeping with the sleek look is a contemporary white Fendi sofa that is completely understated but for its black-and-white cushions studded with diamante that spell out the brand name. Framed pictures of the family add just the right touch of lived-in chic.

In another unique move, the TV room boasts various design influences that have been married together in an altogether unusual fashion. From chic charcoal curtains to a brass bauble chandelier fixture and an orange-and white striped B&B Italia single sofa and leg-rest set, which bears an uncanny resemblance to a beach ball - the strong sense of individuality that runs through the house can perhaps be felt best here.

The colour quotient in this room is derived from an artificial violet orchid arrangement and some more dramatic pop art.

The bedrooms have more of a stark approach, yet the couple's penchant for the quirky is on display yet again with a sun-shaped 1igbt fixture positioned above their white leather bed, while zippered wallpaper in the powder room is a definite talking point.

The design gene is definitely something the two have passed on to their son who has a definite idea of his preferences. Zoya says, ''He even chose his own bed and rocket light fixture from Lebanon.''

The Sakrs are also looking forward to welcome another bundle of joy to their family, and one gets a good sense of the baby's gender by Zoya's mischievous beams when she says, ''I will be choosing a pink theme for the nursery.''

When asked what made them settle on buying this villa, both are quick to wax eloquent about how the Jumeirah Islands development was an all-round winner for them right from the word go.

Zoya says, ''We love that while it's located in the heart of the city, it is still tucked away within an exclusive gated community. More importantly, the safety aspect plays a large role for us as a family.''

Complete with a park, gym, health club and tennis courts, it's easy to see why this is a family-friendly locality. Rudolf even says, ''It's like being on holiday all year round and you can spot children feeding ducks from time to time.''

The personal touch across the house is hard to overlook and this, perhaps, is what makes the Sakrs home stand apart from just another exclusive Dubai address. While the expertise of an interior designer was enlisted, this was more a tactful move to look into the logistics of things. Rudolf sums things up perfectly: ''A house has to be a reflection of your own style.''

Luckily for him, he landed the perfect partner in Zoya who ensures that his creativity translates into practicality and comfort.

Source: Jehan Nizar, Subeditor, Property Weekly


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