x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

The last, expensive, word in bathrooms

The Life: A disreet retailer in Dubai offers whatever the richest may want - including a 24-carat gold bath tub.

A bathroom designed by Casamia. Courtesy Casamia
A bathroom designed by Casamia. Courtesy Casamia

On the edge of the Dubai's Al Quoz industrial estate, there is an unremarkable, blacked-out shop front that displays a telephone number.

Royalty, industrial magnates, Bollywood stars and the super wealthy have all walked through the door to experience the magic inside. The shop is called Casamia and it sells bathrooms - ultra high-end bathrooms.

"We can customise anything for you," says Abdul Kader Mithani, the director at Casamia. "If you say you need diamonds, if you need gold, if you need a real skin from an animal, you can have it."

And he is not joking. The store is a trove of treats, with tiles made from alligator, snail or fish skins. There are basins that start producing water at a particular temperature as you walk into the bathroom.

There is a 24-carat gold bath tub for sale, as well as a gold-plated lavatory for about US$19,000 (Dh69,788), depending on the specifications. Visits to the store are by appointment only, with the clients for each visit having the store exclusively to themselves. Average purchases total Dh5 million, says Mr Mithani.

Round the corner on Sheikh Zayed Road, Casamia has another store open for the general public. The average spending there is a meagre Dh20,000 on a bathroom.

But the secret store offers so much more. A personal designer accompanies clients around the baths, toilets, fittings and high-tech extras that are available. As a client is selecting various bits, the designer will draw out the whole bathroom so that the customer can visualise its final appearance.

There is also a one-of-a-kind, self-cleaning jacuzzi that functions like a disco in your bathroom, with flashing coloured lights and a powerful sound system. For women applying make-up, there is a mirror that will show the words "you are beautiful". And stumbling around in the dark will be a problem of the past as the store sells a lavatory that glows when you approach and sprays a fragrance when you leave.

The Quote: For marriage to be a success, every woman and every man should have her and his own bathroom. The end. - Catherine Zeta Jones, actress

rjones@thenational.ae