Elaborating on the concept behind KOA, a real estate development company inspired by the idea of connectivity, NASAB officially launched in February 2019 by Emirati entrepreneur Mohammed Bin Zaal. After close inspection of the real estate industry in Dubai, Zaal felt that it was lacking an essential feature. “I felt that maybe I could do something a little bit different to show people that you can still make money but not follow the same system, the same formula,” says Zaal. In search of the missing element, he travelled around the world seeking inspiration from a range of work spaces, restaurants and social clubs. “This idea of really combining different communities, offices, live-work-play kind of thing, all gelled in together and having everyone contribute to the pot and be involved is where I thought, OK wait, I’ve got something good here.” Aptly named, NASAB originates from the Arabic translation of having close relationships with others. “It’s that common thread, it’s the link,” he says. “We want to create this community, we want to create this link.”
The dim lighting and elegant light-wood shades incorporated throughout the space contribute to a tranquil ambience, while the abundance of plant life surrounding the building through floor-to-ceiling windows add the perfect touch of nature. Artwork by Kuwaiti painter Shurooq Amin adorn the walls, complementing the intricate designs. The furniture is the work of London-based Fran Hickman and elements throughout are designed by Australian interior designer Tamsin Johnson, creating the ideal blend of a sophisticated and vibrant atmosphere. With the intention of building a space that nurtures creativity, Zaal sought designers who were passionate about the project and fit in with his broader vision. “For me, anyone who’s working on the project has to believe in the project,” he says. “I wanted things to have a story as well behind them, for people to know that there’s something more than just what is usually in Dubai.” Built over three floors with an open-air loft house design, the architecture is led by Tarik Zaharna, the founder and director of UAE-based T.ZED Architects. “In designing a space for creativity, you need someone creative,” says Zaal. “Tarik was involved from day one and was a great believer in what we’re trying to do.”
An interior view of NASAB. Courtesy of NASAB
Through four tiers of membership, NASAB offers a range of facilities including a wellness spa, an outdoor swimming pool, an in-house photography studio and private offices. Indoor and outdoor events will also be hosted at the space, with the aim of cultivating a diverse and interactive community. Since the launch, NASAB has hosted weekly Sunset Sessions on the rooftop for members, in collaboration with Swiss art collective Satwa 3000, Sydney-based DJ James Locksmith and more.“Ultimately, the goal is to have the members be the contributors to the events because it gives them the platform to showcase other members and what they do,” says Zaal.
The developer sought to combine the themes of “work and play” to create something that caters to both with an artistic flair, contributing to Dubai’s flourishing art scene. “I’ve seen the beautiful change here in Dubai and especially on the creative side, people are really hungry for it, they just want to express themselves, they want to show the world that there’s talent here,” he says. “I see people, younger generations and older generations, they have so much creativity but they don’t have a platform to show these things, so that’s how NASAB came about.”
NASAB is located in Wadi, KOA Canvas - 3 Al Safa St - Dubai.
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