KOA Canvas brings together an international, youthful and award-winning team of visionaries to create a community that promises highest design credentials, craftsmanship, quality, innovation and property desirability.
Founder and CEO: Mohammed Zaal, KOA Dubai
Mohammed Zaal is an entrepreneur from the UAE who has helped shape the property landscape in Dubai. As the developer and former CEO of the Al Barari development, Mohammed Zaal set a new benchmark in real estate design through this project that focused on enriching lifestyles through a connection to nature, culture and unmatched amenities. Drawing on his extensive experience in both the real estate and service industries, Mohammed Zaal created KOA in 2016 with the aim to bring a new definition of urban living and working in the UAE. Named in the “construction power 100” and “100 most powerful Arabs under 40,” Mohammed Zaal has already earned numerous accolades. His work continues the proud, dynamic ambition of the Zaal heritage that dates back to the early 19th century.
Architect: Tarik Al Zaharna, T.ZED Architects.
Founder and Director of T.ZED Architects, Tarik is a graduate of The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL) in London. His professional practice across Europe, North America and the Middle East has further honed his abilities to practice architecture globally and to be invited as a critic internationally. Based in Dubai, Tarik has a passion for developing an architectural and design language in the Middle East, nurturing the humble beginnings of what could become a new and dynamic architectural movement. His experiences have allowed him to position himself as a young pioneer in the steadily growing design and architecture scene of the Middle East. His ongoing interest in the UAE’s context has developed into submissions for international architectural competitions, as well as an ongoing consistency for delivering detail-rich, contextually relevant private as well as commercial projects.
Interior Designer: Fran Hickman, Fran Hickman Interiors
Fran Hickman founded her design studio in January 2014.Fran works with architectural partners and contractors across a wide variety of residential and commercial interior projects, as well as on custom products and furniture. Before establishing her own studio, Fran worked on interiors across the Soho House Group as well as for Waldo Works, where clients included Selfridges Personal Shopping, Smythson on Bond St & Temperley. She has also worked on residential projects all over Europe, including a 46,000 sq ft villa in Regents Park. Fran’s work is recognised for its bespoke, highly tailored approach. She draws on an extensive art and design vocabulary in order to create environments that are both elegant and engaging.
Landscape Designer: Kamelia Zaal, Kamelia Landscaping
Kamelia Zaal has been working in the landscape design industry for over 12 years. After completing her studies at London’s renowned Inchbald School of Design, Kamelia returned to Dubai, inspired to create intuitive and stylized outdoor spaces. In 2006 she established “Second Nature” landscape design and after working on various private residential projects, began work on Al Barari – the UAE’s most distinguished, luxurious and sustainable green residential development. Her work won her no less than 3 awards. In May 2015, Kamelia became the first ever Arab landscape designer to participate at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where she won a silver gilt medal for her garden “The Beauty of Islam”.
Food & Beverage
Restaurant Creator: Jesse Blake
The Head Chef behind the concept, Jesse Blake, is a seasoned professional who is most well-known for his three successful kitchens in Perth, Australia. Having trained in New Zealand, in 2015 Jesse created the Petition Kitchen, Wine Bar & Merchant and Beer Corner. Jesse’s respect for produce, creativity, passion and dedication caught the eye of food aficionados. Jesse has proven to be a dynamic injection of talent in the hospitality scene receiving national recognition and high acclaim from critics for his commitment to sustainability and locally grown produce.
Chef and F&B Director: Kate Christou
In perfect synergy with Jesse, Kate Christou will be leading the team as Chef and F&B Director. Kate is passionate about food with an innate love for culinary writing. With her ever-expanding knowledge of the food industry and interest in the environment, Kate’s deep respect for ingredients and produce has seen a career span across food journalism, volunteer projects and work for non-profit organizations aiding development of sustainable agriculture. Kate and Jesse met whilst both working for Andrew McConnell’s Melbourne institution, with a shared passion for food they started their journey together.