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Mohammed El Hijazi’s favourite places and spaces

The cofounder of Brand Creative, the studio behind the brand strategy, interiors and graphics of retail and commercial spaces in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and London, shares his view of the emirate

Every guy needs a man cave.

The sight that inspires me the most in Dubai is… sand dunes. I am always in awe of these desert sculptures, formed by such a delicate element yet filled with powerful beauty and resilience. They are intriguing structures with their ever-changing patterns.

The building I feel most connected to in the city is… Emirates Towers, as it was one of the first buildings I visited in Dubai. In my eyes, it always looks modern, new and unique.

A recent “find” is… Al Warsan Nursery, with its wide selection of trees, plants and flowers. I recently landscaped my garden, so foliage has been top of mind.

Every guy needs a man cave.

Mohammed El Hijazi

An object from outside my city that sits in my home is… a hejhuj, also known as a gimbri or a Gnawa lute. It is used to create traditional Moroccan tribal music and is similar to a guitar, in both size and design.

On my coffee table, you’ll always find… a children’s book. My two-year-old son is just obsessed with books; it’s always story time in our house.


My favourite space in my city is… DIFC. There is an amazing selection of fine dining restaurants, art and distinctive architecture. I thoroughly enjoy spending time in this remarkable area.

The last gift I received from someone in the city was… a traditional Italian coffee pot. I’m currently experimenting with different roasts and bringing out my inner barista!

My next investment… will probably be a custom-made gazebo for the garden, which will also serve as a man cave because every guy needs one.

Nomad House

My last memorable trip was to… Moscow. It was very brief, but we still managed to take in some of the sights and try some of the delicacies. It’s a very dynamic and interesting city filled with historical architecture.

The thing I most look forward to coming back to is… my newly designed home and garden. My wife, Carla, the creative director at Brand Creative studios, designed the interiors of our beautiful home. It embodies both of our cultures and heritage, which makes it a truly personal and one-of-a-kind space.


The last thing that surprised me about the city was… the new Dubai Hills Golf Club. It has impressive views of the city skyline and in particular of the magnificent Burj Khalifa, which can be seen throughout the course.

If I didn’t live in my city I would live in… Toronto, an ever-changing and diverse city accompanied by dramatic seasons. However, there is an abundance of outdoor activities for every season, so there is always something to keep you occupied. It is also home to the Raptors the Blue Jays and the Leafs, which makes it a sports fanatic’s (my) dream.

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