The villas each have a terrace that offers unobstructed views of the sea Image Credit: Forum Group

Is luxury living all about extravagance and opulence? Or is it about embracing and enjoying a beautiful way of life? Of the many bespoke luxury projects that are currently being developed in Dubai, there is one on the west crescent of the Palm Jumeirah that gives buyers an opportunity to immerse themselves in a truly magnificent way of life.

Developed by the Russia-based Forum Group, XXII Carat features 22 ultra-luxury villas spread across 500,000 sq ft with 720 sq ft of beachfront. Being labelled as the ultimate living experience, a €1-million (Dh3.87 million) rock crystal bathtub by Baldi and one of the world’s most expensive kitchen layouts by La Cornue are just a few examples of the opulence you will find here. With each villa priced between Dh38.5 million and Dh92 million, the community is as exclusive as it can get.

Choosing Dubai

Anton Yachmenev, managing director of the Forum Group, says although the company envisioned a few destinations for the project, Dubai was a natural choice. “The number one reason was Dubai’s appeal as a cosmopolitan city,” he says. “The second was, of course, the ease of doing business, and third, we felt we could add to the luxury living choices that were currently on offer.

“When we set out with XXII Carat, we wanted to ensure that we were not building just another luxury project. What we offer in this community is a combination of the most picturesque location, our experience in delivering projects on time and our commitment to exceptional quality.”

Yachmenev says the plot was acquired in 2009, while construction on the project started only in August 2015 “as we felt we had to get every detail right”, from design and interiors to the materials.

Despite the homes being built on prime plots, Yachmenev says each owner has the luxury of vacant space that is equal to or more than the built area. “This is something that is new for Dubai,” explains Yachmenev.

While the plot sizes range from 15,000-26,000 sq ft, the villas have a built-up area of 8,500-11,000 sq ft.

Sales is picking up gradually, says Yachmenev. While the target market is mainly composed of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), Yachmenev says XXII Carat is not just about luxury that money can buy.

“We are fully aware that our product is targeted at HNWIs, but taking cue from developments around the world, we have a sort of screening process in place to make sure we’re building the right community.”

The community is being handpicked just as each villa is being handcrafted to the smallest detail. From Italian marble floors and handcrafted doors to imported electrical accessories, the developer has also ensured that the exteriors of each home are world class. Some of the highlights include high-quality Bavarian mineral paints with a 50-year fade-away warranty, red clay bricks from Saudi Arabia, windows with dust and noise reduction systems and a noise barrier fencing system.

Views and facilities

Each villa also has an unobstructed 360-degree view of the sea and the city skyline. It also features a private pool, landscaped garden and terrace. While the first line of villas offer private access to the beach directly from their homes, the central line of villas has access to a private roof terrace and an elevator to the basement parking. Each home owner also has access to round-the-clock concierge, security and valet parking, in addition to gardening, pool maintenance and clubhouse facilities.

With nearly 385 workers on-site and with 40 per cent of the project completed, Anton says the development is on track to be completed and delivered on time by the end of the year. He adds that the construction timeline will ensure that all villas are delivered together and will not be based on the sale of units.

Service charges

One of the challenges for developers in the past has been the implementation of service charges. Anton says he is aware this is a nagging issue for many homeowners, but feels it should not be a hassle if the developer is transparent from the outset. “The service fee is usually not an issue if the developer and the homeowner are clear about how the charges are laid out,” he says. “It is in our best interests to ensure that each of the 22 owners is clear on the services and any charges. More than a project, this is a community and we like to keep it that way.”

While XXII Carat is the first project for the Forum Group in Dubai, Anton says the company has already identified other opportunities. “There are a few projects we are looking, but it’s still very early to say what they will be. Our priority at the moment is to complete the project and ensure delivery of all units on time.”