Inside a Dh22m villa on Jumeirah Bay where Cristiano Ronaldo has bought his Dubai home

Polo-playing Swiss lawyer shows The National around his four-storey Amalfi Villa on Dubai’s seahorse-shaped getaway

Powered by automated translation

Three things are immediately apparent when you walk into Amalfi Villa, home to Pascal and Arina (last names withheld upon request): the abundance of natural light, the panoramic sea views and the immediate sense of calm.

The three-bedroom villa on Jumeirah Bay has statement pieces aplenty, both structural – the floor-to-ceiling windows, the double-heightened dining room – as well as those added by the couple – the dramatic, oversized artwork on the walls. However, with the living area spread across three floors, not to mention the roof terrace, you get a feeling the space could never be overwhelmed even by the most ardent collector.

And Pascal is a collector, but with a pared-back, minimalistic and measured approach as befits his profession as a lawyer –not to mention his passion for polo, both of which require a keen eye for detail and razor-sharp instincts.

It was these decisive traits that saw Pascal close on the Dh22 million villa at the end of 2021 with Agatha Magdalena of Dubai Sotheby's International Realty, moving in the spring of 2022 with his wife and their dachshund, Boston.

“I had a similar town house in Switzerland and was looking for something with several floors and a garden,” he says. “We wanted to be close to the sea because I love swimming, and so I found this community.”

A contemporary canvas

That community is “Billionaire’s Island”, as the luxury residential beachfront enclave of Jumeirah Bay is nicknamed. It's a 10-minute drive from City Walk and 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport, and a short stroll to the nearby Bulgari Hotel and Yacht Club.

Amalfi Villa has a living space of 4,012 square feet on a 3,118-square-foot plot, with lush communal gardens beyond the terraced courtyard and views of the Dubai skyline and Burj Khalifa from the rooftop.

A lift services the first three floors (Boston’s preferred method of getting upstairs), with the living area, dining room and kitchen – with its Miele appliances – on the ground floor, a bedroom, mezzanine family room and two balconies on the second, and the main and second bedrooms on the third floor.

All bedrooms are en suite, along with two additional powder rooms and a maid’s room on the ground floor.

“In my view, the interior design has to match with the building,” says Pascal. “Here we have contemporary town house styles and to fit in with the house itself, the interior design is contemporary and minimalistic but also with touches here and there, art and pictures.”

Pascal's travels through Africa and Asia mean plenty of artwork from those continents are dotted around the villa, while his love for the UAE is apparent in the large white corals he found washed up on the beach in Fujairah. These take pride of place on black plinths in the living and dining rooms, as well as in the bedroom.

“I love the sea and I love diving. I found them on the beach around Fujairah and they have become statement pieces,” he says.

Seamless flow

Changes made to the original interior are few and far between, but impactful. Three towering structural columns between the vast windows have been layered with Italian marble over their original light cocoa hue.

“The columns were not covered in marble and I took advantage of their position to use them as a design element,” Pascal says. “There is marble on the kitchen island, and I wanted something similar. The bedrooms, too, feature statement marble walls and aesthetically I like it. It’s like a piece of design without having lots of stuff on your walls. It’s beautiful, like art in itself.”

The couple also added travertine, a textured sedimentary rock, to the walls and floor of the open-air courtyard and terrace. “We wanted the garden to be an extension of the lounge, so the colours match the beige inside and out so that it flows seamlessly,” he says.

Greenery comes courtesy of towering palm fronds in oversized pots, as well as stark, minimalistic cacti potted on the balconies.

The open-plan layout is the perfect foil for the natural light that streams in through the top-floor skylight, which opens to reveal access to the roof terrace.

The community itself is well set up for outdoor life, with vast communal gardens and a pool, as well as the private beach that lines the shore of this seahorse-shaped island, where footballer Cristiano Ronaldo owns a home.

Island living close to the city

“We really enjoy living here,” reiterates Pascal. “It’s quiet, as there are not so many people, but at the same time it’s very close to Dubai city centre and City Walk. I feel like I’m on an island somewhere, especially with how green it is and with the sea all around.”

Daily swims, followed by leisurely dinners on the terrace, weather-permitting, make up home life for the trio, with Pascal noting his wish to stay true to “Arabic colours” has come true.

“I’m very happy we have a place like this island in the UAE,” he says. “In Dubai you can live a very urban city life if you want to, such as in Downtown or DIFC, which feel like New York or London. And then, just a few minutes away, there’s here where you could be on an island in the middle of the ocean.”

Updated: May 29, 2024, 4:15 AM