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Omar Ghafour: The lightness of being

The founder principal of Light Space Design shares his favourite places and spaces in Dubai

The sight that inspires me the most in Dubai is… I can’t help but be cliché, but the Burj Khalifa is breathtaking in its supreme innovation complexity and simplicity. It’s a testament to what man can achieve.

A recent “find” is… So completely off design and architect, but a recent find was a fantastic coffee shop called Moto — maintenance, wet-shave barber and great food. It’s a real gem in Dubai that makes me feel like I’m in London in the ’60s.

An object from outside my city that sits in my home is… Well, I have a 1950 classic fully restored Italian Vespa...

On my coffee table you’ll always find… a leather sketch pad, Penxo pencil and a candle. With a classic Porsche parts magazine — the 911 world…

My favourite space in my city is… Dubai has an abundance of beauty but there is nothing like a sunset ride through the Empty Quarter, wind blowing, engine roaring and breathtaking desert scape. Stop for a smoke and enjoy the sunset!

The last gift I received from someone in the city was… I’m not sure if this counts, but the last gift was the trust and compassion of a petrol pump attendant. I arrived, found I had no wallet or ID and no petrol for my bike. he simply said to me, “Brother, I’ve got this and if and when you have time, come back and pay me… or don’t.”

My next investment… will be a banged-up classic 912 Porsche. In 10 years it will be worth a packet.

My last memorable trip was to… The last trip I truly, truly enjoyed was to Ubud in Bali, the definition of Zen. It’s a destination defined by yoga, peace and jungle.

The thing I most look forward to coming back to is… Whenever I leave Dubai coming home to my space and the ease of life is simply intoxicating. There’s home and family, but we can’t neglect the most important element — shawarma!

The last thing that surprised me about the city was… Well, Dubai just keeps reinventing itself and pushing the boundaries — it’s always bigger and better. The unshakable desire to be the best and never stopping. Now with Expo2020 and the new DIFC area, it just blows me away.

If I didn’t live in Dubai, I would live in… Tokyo. I’m a Londoner so London holds a dear place in my heart, but Tokyo is incredible.

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