A luxe hideaway in Dubai

19 October 2018 -
Mark Smith

Dubai is a place of incredible contrasts. Humble homes are juxtaposed with out of this world luxurious resorts and plush ocean view pads. But Dubai has always been a place of extremes. A place where more is more. A whole lot more.

Luxury homes here all share certain things: abundant space, stunning design, and, of course, privacy. That’s certainly the case with the XXII Carat ultra-luxury villas that are just about to welcome their first ever occupants. Located right at the end of the Palm Jumeirah’s West Crescent, this is where things get rather fancy.

For today's new generation of well-heeled travelers, the bar for luxe hideaways has reached dizzying heights, which is why XXII Carat’s interiors boast everything from kitchens that reflect discerning and uncompromising taste to bathrooms that offer a luxurious retreat from everyday life.

All the villas are furnished with high end finishing materials and equipment imported from France and Italy such as La Cornue, Baldi, La Cuisine Française, Devon&Devon, Schuco and Miele, to name just a few. Built using only the finest materials, XXII Carat is where all the determinants of uber luxury can be found.

Anton Yachmenev, Managing Director of Forum Group, the company behind XXII Carat, believes the standards of luxury living in Dubai have changed, for the better.

He says, “A decade ago, Dubai was not a place to buy a home and settle down. It was transient and short term and wasn’t taken seriously as somewhere you might want to spend the next 20 to 30 years of your life. But that has changed, dramatically. There is now a trend of discerning well-heeled buyers choosing a permanent home in Dubai and that’s why we came up with the idea for XXII Carat. It is a place residents can truly call home, where no expense has been spared. Each villa has been expertly designed and furnished to make sure you will never want to leave.”

Asked about who the buyers are lining up to purchase these high-end properties Anton says, “Our buyers are luxury-minded people from all over the world. They are people with style and sophistication who know exactly what they want and they expect nothing less than perfection.”

When you step inside one of the villas, the first thing you notice is the kitchen. The timeless beauty of La Cornue cookers, which are decorated with fleur de lis and one-of-a-kind enameled plinths, is a clear stand out feature. These custom-made range cookers combine traditional style with the latest technology to ensure outstanding cooking results.

“Our involvement with XXII Carat was particularly unique for us because it was the first time we took on such a large project. Usually, we design made to measure kitchens on a case-by-case basis but with XXII Carat we were involved with a global luxury real estate project with 22 exceptional and unique units,” says La Cornue’s General Manager, Benoît Favier.

“Forum Group had two major requirements. Firstly, everything needed to be electric and then the plinths, which are normally made from stainless steel, had to be enameled in the same colour as the cooker. For us, it was a very exciting project to work on not only because of the size of the order but because we could see everything taking shape, step by step, villa by villa, until this wonderful project became a reality,” he adds.

Complementing the cookers are the kitchen cabinets, which were fitted by leading French company La Cuisine Française.

“The kitchen is technically the most challenging part of the house, an everyday work area with its mixture of humidity, heat, liquids, and air circulating in and out,” explains Christopher Cousin, Founder and CEO of La Cuisine Française, whose family has been creating, manufacturing and fitting luxury furniture since 1821.

“It is therefore vital that the quality of materials, furniture and worktops in this room are guaranteed for lasting sustainability. Most of our kitchen cabinets are made from plywood carcasses, guaranteeing stability and lightness in weight, resistance to humidity, and increased load capacity. But for XXII Carat we went a step further by upgrading certain features and adding special flourishes such as the addition of fine gold and silver leaf.”

Then there are the bathrooms, where you will find the jewel in the crown of XXII Carat villas, the $1 million bathtubs. Forum Group brought in precious-rock fixtures from high-end Italian interiors specialists, Baldi, a company that has carved a niche for itself creating luxury items for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

Taking inspiration from the Italian Renaissance, Luca Baldi – CEO of the family-owned company, describes his creations as “a perfect expression of the rarity and exclusivity of the Italian lifestyle.”

For the XXII Carat project, the raw crystals, weighing in at more than 10,000kg each, were shipped from Brazil to the Italy, where they were then hand-carved into a deep egg shape before arriving in Dubai.

“The residents of XXII Carat villas in Dubai will be among the first in the world to bathe in these remarkable tubs and enjoy the truly unique, magical and luxurious experience,” says Luca. " the ultimate escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life.”

When it came to the bathroom décor, Forum Group turned to Italian bathroom design experts Devon & Devon, who were tasked with giving these decadent rooms a touch of European elegance.

Under the guidance of the company’s art director, Paola Tanini, and in partnership with the interior design studio Transforma, catalogue pieces were selected and painstakingly redesigned to furnish the bathrooms and hammams of the villas to adapt them to the Arab-Mediterranean style.

“We take classical shapes and use contemporary materials to come up with astonishing timeless bathroom furnishings,” says Tanini. “For example, we redesigned our Dandy and Coventry taps and fittings for the private hammams to obtain a special waterfall effect. For XXII Carat’s bathrooms we used the Rose collection, Dandy and Coventry taps and fittings in an 18-carat gold finish and Cavendish accessories.”

The villas are on sale for between Dhs39.9 million and Dhs91.7 million, and the high price tag clearly hasn’t put off buyers, with 50 per cent of the properties already sold.