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Mon 3 Mar 2008 11:22 AM

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Island life

With a hectic life as a banker in the city, Karim Naccache has created his perfect weekend getaway with a shoreline apartment on the Palm.

With a hectic life as a banker in the city, Karim Naccache has created his perfect weekend getaway with a shoreline apartment on the Palm.

As Karim Naccache speeds up the trunk of the Palm Jumeriah in his nifty sports car, there's no doubt that he appears to be living the Dubai dream. Not only is he the proud owner of a ninth-floor shoreline apartment, complete with luxury finishes and stunning sea views, but his dad happens to be interior designer and owner of the high-end furniture boutique Nakkash Gallery, so it's no surprise that he's ended up with a bachelor pad to die for.

I spend most of my time relaxing out on the balcony. I love to stretch out and have a siesta on my Cleopatra lounger and just enjoy the view.

Karim readily admits that not too many of the design genes rubbed off on him, and he was happy to leave it up to his father Wajih Nakkash to design the interior of the apartment using furniture from his boutique. "It's fantastic having a father who can just kit out my apartment for me, I'm definitely grateful for that," he says.

With a highflying career at Deutsche Bank in the city, Karim spends the majority of the week living at Wafi Residences due to its proximity to the office, so the Palm apartment has become the perfect weekend crash pad. "I come here every weekend, its my retreat," says Karim. "I'll generally lounge at the beach and the pool and invite some friends over and we'll have a barbeque."

The Nakkash family invested in the property years ago, when the Palm Jumeirah seemed nothing more than a far-fetched fantasy on Nakheel's drawing board. Now that the first residents have moved onto the island it's become the perfect getaway.

"Life on the Palm has absolutely lived up to expectations," says Karim. "The location is ideal, its great to be in New Dubai right now, and the fact that you're living on an island adds a little flavour to the whole thing. Dubai is one of the only places in the whole world where you can experience a place like this - a man-made island with apartments and villas, which is also a resort with all the facilities you could need."

He admits that not everything has been entirely perfect. "We weren't happy with some of the things in the apartment when it was handed over. There's another tower block being built on the beach just to the left of us that was not in the original plans."

It's true that the constant sound of construction does somehow detract from the peaceful lapping of the waves onto the beach below. There was also a problem with the design of the building itself. "There is a tower which has been built all the way up the side of our building. It would have been much better if this was not here as the balcony would not have been so enclosed and it would have been flooded with light."

RESIDENT DETAILSWhat type of property is it?

A two-bedroom 9th floor shoreline apartment on the Palm Jumeirah.

How many people live here?

One.

How long have you lived there?

2 months.

How long have you been in Dubai?

2 years.

Where did you live prior to being here?

London.

What attracted you to the property?

Location, location, location.

What is your profession?

Investment Banker.

As one of the first residents on The Palm, what have you found to be most exciting about this development?

Living on an island.

How would describe the design scheme?

Comfortable and easy to maintain.

Is there anything you would do differently?

If I have the choice to change the architecture, I would remove the tower elevation to gain more sea view.

However despite this design flaw, the balcony is one of Karim's favourite spots in the whole apartment, and its easy to see why. It looks directly out onto the pools and palm tree lined walkways below, plus there is the stunning vista of the Arabian Gulf with all of Dubai's most famous landmarks visible in the distance.

"I spend most of my time out here just relaxing. I love to stretch out and have a siesta on my Cleopatra lounger and just enjoy the view," says Karim. Mr. Nakkash used the ‘tower' area to create an enclosed dining area, while the rest of the balcony is given over to a relaxed seating space with designer outdoor furniture from Dedon.

The reds and blacks I felt were very masculine colours. I wanted something minimalist and contemporary.

Inside the apartment Karim chose a red and black colour scheme, with accents of silver.

"The reds and blacks I felt were very masculine colours. I wanted something minimalist and contemporary. In our other houses the interiors are a lot more classical, there are paintings with horse carriages and things like that. So I asked my dad to make it more modern and also easy to maintain - that was very important for me."

The materials used complete the look - with black and brown leather furniture and dark woods chosen throughout. One of the most striking design features in the living room are the two bright red ‘Yoda' easy chairs designed by South East Asian designer Kenneth Cobonpue. The chairs are created using stained rattan vines woven on a steel frame in a clever design that works using natural material tension.

The large open-plan living room has been cunningly broken up using a large piece of voile hung from the ceiling, with a painting mounted on top. "First impressions are very important when you enter a house," says Karim. "We didn't want the first thing you see when you entered the apartment to be out onto the table on the balcony, so we hung up this netting. It's also a good way of dividing up the living and dining space."

As Karim chills out on his Cleopatra lounger, he admits that taking a break from a hectic work schedule and relaxing in comfort was number one on his list of priorities when it came to designing his apartment.

"The most important element about my home for me is being comfortable. In fact if I had a specific item in the house I'd never throw out. I'd say it would have to be my mattress! Now is my tie straight?" he asks before jumping straight back in the car and zipping back to the office.

HOME TRUTHSWhat's on your iPod?

Curtis Mayfield and Dessyn Massiello.

Have you made any New Year's Resolutions?

To muster up enough courage to jump out of an airplane with a parachute.

Where do you relax in Dubai?

On my balcony lounging on a DEDON Sofa designed by the famous Dutch Designer, Frank Ligthart.

What's the last movie you watched?

Spartacus.

On what would you spend your last Dhs100?

Cheap postcards along with stamps with the intention of sending them out asking for some money.

Do you live your life according to any maxims?

I would like to think so.

Who has had the most influence on your sense of style?

My parents.

Fantasy dinner date?

Sultan Salahuddin Ayubi.

What quality do you most appreciate in others?

Honesty.

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