“They appreciate what we stand for and the pillars of this country, which encourage individuality and personal identity”

The Grid: To support Dubai’s growth as a hub of cultural innovation, you have conceptualised the KOA’s new Canvas members’ community around the idea of blurring the lines between ‘live, work and play’. The mixed-use development consists of both residential units and a state-of-the-art communal co-working space. Where did you draw your inspiration for the concept?

Mohammed Zaal: Previously as CEO of Al Barari, I wanted to redefine residential living and working in Dubai and create an urban ecosystem that challenged existing norms in the market.

In the past few years, I really started feeling that the real estate market here wasn’t really going in the right direction. In the first huge residential construction boom, it was evident that no one really cared about what was being built, who was building it, or who the buyers or investors were. Everyone was just playing the game and making money.