If You Dream of Sand Dunes

A sea view was always at the top of Katja Sander's Dubai wish list, and her Jumeirah Beach Residence apartment fits the bill perfectly

04 Mar 2014 words by Sam Armstrong in Neighbourhoods

I grew up in Berlin, which is such an edgy, urban environment that living by the beach was a dream for me, says Katja, who has found a home in the Murjan complex in JBR. "I have been here a year now and it is still a real luxury to wake up in the morning and look straight out onto the water; the view relaxes me like nothing else." Katja makes the most of the proximity no matter the time of day."I get up early and go for a jog and I also love walking on the sand at night.''

A place where she can relax and enjoy some downtime provides the perfect counter-balance to Katja's office in DIFC: "It is important for me to have a distinction between work and home life, so living close to the office was never a priority. In Europe 30-minute commutes are the norm, and this way I can take advantage of all the action in DIFC before stepping into a more laid-back environment.'' 

Katja recognises that what she finds a tonic isn't how everyone views JBR living: "Of course life in the Marina very much depends on where you are situated and how much construction is going on around you. Places like JBR walk can feel congested when you drive in, but when you live here it is actually very relaxed and there are so many amenities within walking distance.''

Katja enjoys a window into the world of some of the UAE's most opulent homes in her role as Assistant Fair director at Design Days Dubai. The yearly event is a new initiative, which first took place in march this year, showcasing limited-edition design pieces and collectibles. When asked about her own interior aesthetic Katja jokes that the pieces she works with are somewhat out of her budget: "Prices are not high as those for contemporary art, but you can still be looking at around $50,000 for some pieces; perhaps i should ask for a pay rise,'' she laughs. But creating a sanctuary that reflects her personal style is something she undoubtedly enjoys. "The longer I am here I realise Dubai is somewhere I want to stay for the foreseeable future, so I invest more in my interiors. There are some wonderful local carpenters who can create individual pieces that mix really well with things you can find in the shops.''

It is clear that Katja is a person who needs to feel inspired and Dubai ticks that box. "This is a fantastic city where you still have the chance to develop something new. There is an under-current of competitive spirit where everyone is driving each other to succeed and that is incredibly rewarding.''