“My father eats, sleeps, and breathes design.” Nakkash on its 40th anniversary as a family-run business, the future of collectible design in the UAE, and passing the baton from one generation to the next.

The Lighthouse Conversations with Hashem Montasser

05-10-2023 • 53 min

Hashem catches up with the Nakkash family: patriarch Wajih Nakkash, his daughter Aya, and son Omar. To celebrate their 40th business anniversary, Wajih recounts how the Nakkash journey started with a showroom in Sharjah in 1983 and an avant-garde Emirati couple that approached him to design the interiors of their home. Wajih also shares how the Nakkash name evolved from a single showroom to a family-run business that includes interiors, has an online presence, and collaborations with his son Omar on new designs while Aya focuses on marketing (and mediating!) They also discuss the role of design fairs in establishing a collectible design market and the challenges of catering to the needs of Dubai’s diverse population without being all things to all people. Wajih and Omar also share the importance of storytelling in their business, the challenges of shifting from professional to personal in their daily interactions with each other, and what role Matriarch Mrs. Nakkash’s vinyls played!