Here in the world’s tallest building is a sneaker collection like no other.
Mohamed al-Safar, a 31-year-old self-described “sneakerhead” from Dubai, gladly shows us his collection.
“Here is the Jordan for undefeated. This is the first ever collaboration that Jordan had with any other brand. They never did anything before this and this [was] released in 2005. They only made 75 pairs of them,” al-Safar said. “Actually I had to fly the person from the U.S. to deliver the shoe personally.”
The crates were specifically designed to keep away sunlight and dust. The 1,500 pairs of mostly Nikes and Air Jordans are worth around $1 million dollars.
“The oldest sneaker I have in my collection and this is from 1994 and it happens to be brand new. As you can tell here, with age this is what happens to old sneakers, so it’s very cool that I have this in brand new since it’s such an old shoe.”
He says he started collecting when he was young—but it really took off in the past 10 to 12 years.
“What made me really collect sneakers is the fact that during high school, we weren’t able to wear what we [wanted] but we could wear any sneaker we want. So I used to be creative with sneakers that I wore.”
He buys 20 to 30 new pairs each month to keep his collection up to date—and only wears around 10 percent of the shoes he owns.
He says it isn’t about money—he believes the best way to collect anything is by purchasing what makes you happy.