In 1984, Hakim did most of the drum work on Dire Straits' album Brothers in Arms, when the previous drummer Terry Williams' performance was found unsuitable for the desired sound of the album after most of the songs had already been recorded. Hakim recorded all the drum tracks on the album in two days and then left. Williams was, however, brought back for the tour.
Between 1988 and 1989 he appeared regularly as the house band drummer in The Sunday Night Band during the first half season of the acclaimed music performance program Sunday Night on NBC late-night television. After being temporarily replaced by drummer J. T. Lewis for the remainder of that season, Hakim reappeared in the band for the second season in the fall of 1989, when the program returned under the new name Night Music.