How Sheikh Youssef Al Shelash Is Helping Redefine Luxury Living in the Middle East

Listen to this article

According to Vogue Business, 57% of Middle Eastern consumers are influenced by brands when making luxury purchases. The same holds true for real estate, which is why more and more property development companies are partnering with famous design houses to create one-of-a-kind luxury living spaces. “Co-branding is one of the biggest trends in luxury living spaces,” confirms the chairman of Dar Al Arkan, Yousef Al Shelash.

Co-branding is by no means a new concept. It started when fashion designers began to expand their offerings beyond clothing to include accessories like handbags and shoes, then it evolved into items like eyewear, furniture, cars, yachts, and private planes. And now co-branding has reached the real estate market. According to the chairman of Dar Al Arkan, Yousef Al Shelash, co-branding with luxury brands is very much in demand for real estate and hospitality brands.

Why Is Co-Branded Real Estate in Demand?

“It is a big trend because we have more and more people looking to buy a limited number of units,” says Al Shelash. “When you do a project in a particular city with a specific brand, you only present a limited number of units. These are also limited for a very long time. So there is a big trend around the globe today of people who would like to buy units with limited numbers, just like they are buying watches, they’re buying jewelry, they are buying everything which is a limited edition. So the co-branded real estate is the limited edition of real estate. This is a significant trend these days in real estate.”

Yousef Al Shelash Talks About Dar Al Arkan’s Shams Ar Riyadh Development

Dar Al Arkan partnered with three famous designers on the branded residences that are a part of its Shams Ar Riyadh development project. “Because Shams Ar Riyadh is close to Riyadh [Saudi Arabia], Dar Al Arkan had the option of developing some of the most luxurious villas in that area, with interiors designed by the people at Versace and Elie Saab,” says Yousef Al Shelash. “We were able to create more premium products because of its proximity to the city center. This was one of many master plans that the company does.”

The unique city-within-a-city project spans 5 million square meters and offers commercial as well as residential space with amazing first-rate facilities. Dar Al Arkan says, “Shams Ar Riyadh is a tranquil getaway in the middle of the bustling city. The perfect location to get the perfect balance between affluence and relaxation. [It is] in an idyllic environment, where children can flourish, learn, and play. [And it] is fully equipped with vibrant retail centers, multicuisine restaurants, walkways surrounded by lush green landscapes, children’s play areas, and added facilities such as schools, clinics, government offices, and mosques, making Shams Ar Riyadh an exceptional community that grants you a hassle-free and convenient modern life.”

Versace designed the interiors of the Upside Living villas. The 12 homes are the first villas to feature interiors by the famed Italian design house. The villas are ideal for entertaining since the first floor has a hosting area, and the family area is located on the ground floor. A waterfall connects the two floors and makes for a stunning conversation piece, and the space’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of Wadi Hanifa. These villas also include smart home technology.

According to Yousef Al Shelash’s property development company, because it is “equipped with world-class amenities, a grand mosque, a luxury mall, and a chic promenade, Shams Ar Riyadh is truly a modern and sophisticated community that raises the benchmark for luxury living in the capital.”

Yousef Al Shelash is also the chairman and one of the founders of the Board of Alkhair Group Holding Limited in Dubai International Financial Center in the UAE. Additionally, he is the chairman of the Board of Saudi Home Loans, a position he has held since 2008. He explains that the Shams Ar Riyadh also offers exceptional villas with interiors by a famed Italian fashion designer. These are the first fully automated homes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Dar Al Arkan notes: “No luxury has been spared in the homes that bear the signature of the Italian fashion maestro. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls allow the natural light to flood into every space while highlighting the captivating views beyond. The idyllic environment includes world-class shopping, dining, entertainment, and cultural activities, as well as beautifully landscaped gardens and park areas, offering peace and tranquility in the middle of the city bustle.”

The villas are exquisite proof that sustainability and efficiency are essential aspects of the future of luxury living. The world-class villas have lighting that detects when people enter or exit a room and react accordingly. Even the security requires video entry with voice recognition and smart locks. Living the good life has never been similar or safer.

Fashion designer Elie Saab offers creative guidance and curates the design of the limited number of co-branded villas. According to Ziad ElChaar, the Dar Al Arkan vice chairman, “Elie Saab is a global pioneer in the design and admired for his unique and beautiful designs that capture our hearts. Through this first-of-its-kind collaboration, we are bringing two major forces in the Arab world and showcasing a new level of modern design and luxury living for the customer. Furthermore, the partnership underlines our goal to enhance the real estate sector of the kingdom to truly world-class standards.”

What makes these designer villas so stunning? “Surrounded by Wadi Hanifa’s lush greenery and cool waterways, residents can directly step out onto the wadi from their villa to experience the splendor of nature that delights the senses and brings calm,” stated the company.

“I have been working toward an architectural and lifestyle expression that translates the style of my living through the development of real estate projects and the creation of furniture and home collection to complement my vision,” Elie Saab has said. “Today, Elie Saab has reached a holistic approach that delivers a unique and timeless experience. We are confident our new partner, Dar Al Arkan, is perfectly geared toward supporting our ambitions in developing premium projects that embody the DNA of our brand and touch every aspect of living.”