Open House: Comfort and modernity in Dubai Hills

Open House Dubai Hills Parkways LUXHABITAT

Vish's dream home came to life with sustainability, new technologies and ultra contemporary aesthetics in mind.

Words by Laura Cherrie in Portfolio · Jun 26th, 2024

Vish Patel, founder of Kikoola Project Management, opens the doors of his ultra-modern five-bedroom villa in Dubai Hills to us. His home strikes a cord between welcoming warmth and clean, contemporary aesthetics. Drawing from his extensive background in property renovation and construction, Vish envisioned his home as a multifunctional space powered by the latest technologies and underpinned by sustainable principles.

Open House Dubai Hills LUXHABITAT

Interiors harmonise with the outdoors through ample natural light, neutral tones, and fluid, organic forms. A combination of glass, wood, and marble cultivate a calming ambiance and a sense of cohesion throughout the living spaces. This neutral backdrop is uplifted by works of art and unexpected design elements. Complementing the warm minimalism that flows through the primary living spaces, the downstairs bar and outdoor areas feature a modern, moody palette of stormy greys and black, metallic finishes, sculptural lighting features, and glossy surfaces. These elements, juxtaposed with the airy light atmosphere indoors, offer a sense that inhabitants are entering a different realm, establishing a sense of separation between day-to-day living and off-duty hedonism.

Now, Vish invites us on a tour of his abode, a space where all aspects of living—from cooking in a professional-grade kitchen with family members to enjoying the benefits of an at-home bar with friends—can be embraced.

Open House Dubai Hills LUXHABITAT

Vish: It was 2000, the new millennium, and as part of a business trip, I stopped in Dubai with some friends. They had some contacts living here, and we enjoyed great food and nightlife between the few places available at the time. The safety, cleanliness, and friendliness of the people really enticed me. Many real estate projects had been launched, and I was immediately convinced about the future vision of Dubai.

I was part of a printing business in the UK, which meant it wasn’t easy for me to relocate. However, over time, I grew the business, bought out the other shareholders, made acquisitions, and expanded it into a reasonably sized group; the end goal was to exit and relocate to the UAE. When this finally happened in 2007, the global crash followed, which really changed the landscape. But I decided this was the right place to stay, as I believed it would recover faster than other economies globally; the UAE had the right vision and leadership. During the global downturn, Dubai built its metro system and road networks, the infrastructure for the future. It recovered as expected and became bigger, better, and bolder.

Kikoola Project Management is my business now. We project manage and represent clients looking to construct, renovate, or modify high-end residential projects.


I initially lived in Emirates Hills, which was ‘the place to live’ as an established high-end community. My dream, however, was to design and build my own home. It was just a matter of time, waiting for developments where plots of land were offered, as these were few and far between at the time.

I wanted to stay in an Emaar community, and when they offered land in Dubai Hills, I knew where I wanted to be. I subsequently constructed our five-bedroom property there. I like the community; there are a lot of families, people are friendly, and there is a lot of human interaction in the common areas.

Our home in England is a listed building with great Georgian design and features. It has been fully restored and upgraded sympathetically, which was no easy task. As a result, there was a lot of compromise on functionality and layout in order to preserve features and meet legislation. I knew that, in contrast, the new build in Dubai was going to be ultra-modern in design, materials, and technology, as we were limited with our UK address.

I spent a lot of time researching design elements, focusing on sustainability, future lifespan, value for money, and maintenance. Our home features electric locks, access control, CCTV, and the latest in home technologies.

Open House Dubai Hills LUXHABITAT

As a family, we use our home and every room in it, which is the same in our house in the UK—dead space was not an option. We all like to cook, so the kitchen, prep areas, and larders were important. For the ground floor, there is a Cesar Italia kitchen, which we mainly use for breakfast. The main kitchen has all the latest Miele appliances complemented with a more heavy-duty Viking stove with extraction and splashback, giving the endurance of a commercial kitchen.

The lounges and living areas are not just for show; they have practical furnishings. Storage is key, and we ensure all joinery is full height. Internally, neutral colours with natural finishes meant a full-height 12m white wood marble-clad wall. The glass panoramic lift was also essential for the light to flood the lobby and stairwell, with large skylights on the roof.

I really appreciate all aspects of art and design; however, my mantra has always been that something must appeal to me on first impression. While design is subjective, the appeal and aesthetics should, in my opinion, never compromise functionality.

For the furniture, we were not tied to one brand. Practicality, as I mentioned, always takes preference over design. We wanted to avoid the situation where you have an amazing sofa, and then when you sit down, you’re shuffling around and uncomfortable!

Open House Dubai Hills LUXHABITAT

All the joinery, beds, and cabinets are custom-made with Italian wardrobes. For the leather recliner seating in the family room and cinema, we chose Natuzzi; they do leather well. The rest is a blend of B&B, Minotti, Arflex, and Calia, with a custom dining table from Mirage by Lever. For the dressing room in the master suite, a two-story wardrobe was designed with its own Cibes Sweden lift to access the upper tier, quite a unique feature.

We do like to entertain and have done so in small groups of up to 12; I think the space and design allow for more intimacy and conversations. But with the internal and external high-end audio, huge terraces, and patios, it certainly can host over 100 in a party environment.

Natural light was very important to me, but I also wanted a huge basement. Growing up in the UK, the basement was a cold, damp cellar, while American movies always depict basements as dark, dingy spaces, full of dust. I wanted the opposite. In order to have the basement level experience on par with the ground floor, the solution was to excavate the entire plot down to the basement level, giving a large private sunken terrace with full-height Swiss motorised sliding window doors.


The basement bar entertainment opens onto a large sunken terrace with a motorised BBQ pergola area with a Zyna pizza oven and bar adjacent to a huge, framed living green wall. The protruding, above-ground acrylic pool with its own water feature makes this my favourite setting in the home. The external lighting design gives the property an entirely different personality at night; it’s interesting to see the transformation in ambiance during different moments of the day.

Efficiency, sustainability, and environmental considerations were all really important when realising the design. The whole house has an external insulation system with ceramic cladding. The glass was imported with a very high U-value performance but maintained clear transparency. The air conditioning and fresh air are Daikin Belgium VRV, giving maximum efficiency, with the condensate recovered to irrigate the garden, which itself has a live system watering as required based on weather conditions, forecasts, timings, and soil sensors.

Open House Dubai Hills LUXHABITAT

For additional details, view the listing.