May 28th, 2008


New York-based architects Studio Dror have designed residential villas for Nurai, a resort on a natural island off the coast of Abu Dhabi.


The development will include 31 estates on the shore and 36 villas surrounded by water.


The following information is from developers Zaya:

Studio Dror design statement – Nurai:

On an island of limited proportions, how is it possible to realize a measure of solitude among a community of users? Even with amenities “swept under the carpet,” the fact of other individuals interrupts the expectation of being languorously alone.


The carpet is an elegant and simple solution and native to the arts and crafts tradition of the Persian Gulf. We perceive it as a field upon which we can sculpt and manipulate landscape and topography to achieve suspended states of privacy.


The metaphor also serves as a way to think about the separation of parts and of characterizing luxury by firstly removing it from direct interaction with conflicting elements. Dror takes the carpet beyond initial inspiration by intensifying its work as an organizing principle for the island’s programs and components.


The carpet begins to work harder to outline form and assign reason to a system that includes three residential types, a variety of service amenities, an active and changing landscape, public art, and waterfront leisure facilities. The continuous surface undergoes adaptations through rips, tears and peels, revealing moments that otherwise would have remained completely obfuscated; calculated breaches in the surface reposition points of view and referee streams of activity by subordinating it into the larger topographic framework. The carpet, having been laid, associates all components visually and structurally.


The settlement of this paradox – how to program a complete and discerning lifestyle for a limited group of residents while minimizing traces of that intensity – will fulfill the vision Dror has conceived for Nurai.

Her name is Nurai: by Zaya

Zaya, a dynamic newly-formed Abu Dhabi-based real estate company has launched its first of many property ventures; Nurai, a spectacular private community of limited edition resort beach-front estates and water villas on a natural island off the coast of Abu Dhabi.


Derived from the Arabic word “nour” meaning light, Nurai is surrounded by clear waters and ringed with pristine sandy beaches. Lying immediately northeast of Abu Dhabi, the island is set in isolation away from the hustle and bustle of city life yet is within minutes from the mainland.


CEO Nadia Zaal hand picked a world class team with a shared passion to bring her vision of Nurai to life. Backed by senior management with over 25 years of experience, Zaal leads with fresh prospective and passionate dedication in creating sustainable communities that will raise the bar in property development. Zaal explains, “Zaya has a passion for creating unique lifestyle solutions that goes beyond bricks and mortar. Using our unique understanding of the clientele and refusing to be bound by convention, Nurai is the most stylish contemporary living experience in the world”.


Nurai is the beginning for Zaya’s collection of unique projects designed solely based on market research and the discerning clientele’s aspiration in mind. Extensive research concluded that there is a shortage in this kind of sophisticated projects and means that Zaya will remain focused on the high end of the market with plans for expansion into the Middle East, Asia and Europe being announced shortly.


“On Nurai, you can have your own piece of paradise and still be just minutes from Abu Dhabi. On this incredibly lush island, you will find a distinctive collection of limited edition resort beachfront estates and water villas, along with all the services and comforts of a world class boutique resort,” added Zaal.


The design concept of the island stemmed from Zaya’s desire to provide residents with abundant pieces of land and ultimate privacy. Two strands of Water Villas extend into the ocean, and Nurai’s Beachfront Estates are integrated into the gently scoping landscape. A carpet of greenery unfolds across the island, with sweeping structures underneath to envelop residents in their own world of private luxury. Island feels untouched as majority of land is landscaped lush greenery as opposed to populated with buildings.


Discerning clientele interested in resort beachfront estates will have their choice of two designs – ’The Shoreline’ or ‘The Seaside’. The Shoreline estates will consist of six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, private beach and rooftop garden with a total build area of 12,275 square feet (approximately 1140 square meters). Similar in size, but with five bedrooms and six baths, will be The Seaside estates. No detail has been overlooked. Each resort residence includes luxurious amenities such as a private beach and garden, infinity swimming pool, concealed service quarters and outdoor showers.

Alternatively, the resort Water Villas offer an unparalleled over-water living experience. The homes are situated over the crystal clear waters surrounding the island and include three bedrooms and four bathrooms occupying 5,540 square feet. These contemporary resort villas indulge the fortunate few with every amenity one could wish for in a home – a private beach, rooftop garden with spa pool, infinity pool, outdoor barbeque area, gourmet kitchen and concealed service quarters.

Nurai resort residents will also have access to all of the services and comforts provided by the boutique resort. In addition to the amenities of the contemporary hotel, which include three world class restaurants and multiple lounges, Nurai also offers a private helipad and marina with arrivals lounge, a fully equipped spa and fitness centre, private beaches and water sports facilities.





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