Come home! SRK set to launch Dh2.4 billion mega development

Bollywood star set to launch Dh2.4 billion mega development 
Royal Estates by Shah Rukh Khan in Dubai next week

By Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Mon 28 Jul 2014, 9:34 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:25 PM

Legendary bollywood film star Shah Rukh Khan is not well-versed in the property business, but this may not be the case in the future as one of the UAE’s most-promising real estate projects has secured his endorsement for The Royal Estate.

Celebrating the stability and positive pulse of the UAE’s real estate sector, Aristocrat Star, PAL Developments and Pacific Ventures have announced Khan’s endorsement for their Dh2.4 billion aesthetic and 2.3 million sqft gated community project in Dubai Investment Park. The green development features 2,000 units comprising apartments, villas, boutique retail spaces, an office complex and a luxury hotel, all of which will exude the trademark Shah Rukh Khan grandeur.

Bollywood’s “King Khan” seems to be inspired by Dubai’s cosmopolitan culture, its excellent infrastructure, fast and quick procedure to set up business in the emirate. And if “an exciting proposal” clicks to his mind, the star will not hesitate to avail the opportunity to be part of Dubai’s corporate and business circles.

In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Khan expressed his excitement with his new association with Dubai’s real estate sector.

“Everyone’s story begins in their home and no home is less than a kingdom for its residents. Three renowned and experienced organisations — Aristocrat, PAL and Pacific Ventures — have partnered to develop and present Royal Estates, which ensures uncompromised comfort, elegance, safety and a state-of-the-art landscaped serenity that weaves a stellar community. I am delighted to be associated with this project,” said Khan, who is due in Dubai next week for the launching of the project.

Project sales will commence on August 7 and its first phase comprising 400 units is expected to be delivered by the first quarter of 2016. Apartment units start at Dh450,000 and townhouses from Dh1.6 million onwards.

Los Angeles-based designer Tony Ashai of Ashai Design Corporation — who has previously been involved in designing celebrity homes including that of English footballer David Beckham and the redesigning of the iconic Chrysler Building in New York — is now engaged in The Royal Estates by Shah Rukh Khan to execute the Bollywood star’s dream features in an affordable housing project in Dubai’s booming property market.

Affordable housing

Sharing his views about the project, Khan said: “I have gone and seen the site and the architect, Osman Bhai, and everyone explained to me two things: that they were trying to make small units, which are affordable as a house, as a standalone house so to say. It’s not standalone but it would give you that feeling.”

“So people who would like to have a house; their first one or second one for investment, the idea is like you know each unit has been designed in a manner that it’s ‘my home’. If it can be individualistic. It’s a place that I don’t have to share with too many people. It’s not just an apartment line after line; there are open spaces left and once you get inside you feel secure and there is a feeling you know that ‘this belongs to me’. I think that part of designing has come from me.”

“If I want to claim that the tiles have been designed by me or the floor is designed by me, yes I have seen it and it’s very tastefully done and by the best of people, I will be wrong. But I liked the way that they have kept the spaces at the entrances though they are not like huge spaces. The way it has been designed is amazing. I am very good with designing spaces that are not very big but I can find lot of space like in my library. So that part of my understanding has gone into it. I liked the concept of having a home of your own with individual taste,” Khan elaborated.

Describing his relationship with the project developers, the Bollywood star appreciated their idea of developing small housing units and said the whole designing aspect and affordable factor will really work for them.

“I have come on board as a brand ambassador for this Royal Estates property. I met them as a team — Mr Parvez, Mr Osman and everybody else. They all have different roles to play within this same property. They are very upfront, extremely religious, sweet and soft-spoken. I really liked the way that they presented everything. I normally like to work with people whose way of working is gentle and kind.”

“I think it’s a great opportunity for people to have this project. I liked the idea behind the thought that Osman Bhai had and that’s why you know it took us about three or four hours to just sit down, sort out our moralities and say, ‘okay, let’s get on with it and quickly get people to live here’,” he added.

Dubai an international hub

Khan said Dubai is the biggest hub for trade, tourism and entertainment in Asia and he loves to spend his vacation with his family in the emirate.

“I think as a business hub, as an entertainment hub — I have shot our film ‘Happy New Year’ [in Dubai] — that’s fantastic. It’s extremely film-friendly and looks beautiful on-screen. And when people will see ‘Happy New Year’, they will realise what I mean.

“I think it can be an amazing place for movies to be shot in every way — technology, infrastructure, roads accessesibility, hotels, beautiful spots and varied spots; you have downtown, you have high-rise, you have the deserts, you have small villages on the outskirts, you have the waterparks and you have skiing set-up in Dubai so it has got everything.”

“Apart from that the way businesses are allowed to be set up there, fast and quick. We have started there now and would love to continue from there. A PR firm or some kind of a business from there because it’s very enticing, it’s very interesting and it’s very smooth. Everybody is helpful and you have people from all cultures here.”

“So once you are in Dubai, you can do business with the Germans, with the French, with the English, with the Indians, with people from Singapore; everybody is present here. You know there are opportunities; I go for a cricket match or I go for a shoot and you get to meet so many varied people doing businesses from the different parts of the world. The biggest of the companies are there. I genuinely think that it’s the biggest hub existing at least in this part of Asia,” Khan said.

“I like living on the Palm in my house. It’s the best place. The Atlantis is right behind. It has got the best restaurants, got the waterpark, shopping malls and bookstores. So for me the ideal picnic spot or for spending time with kids is my little house in Dubai. I think it’s the most beautiful place. I will prefer to any other place in the world,” he added.

Property business foray

Khan said he never ventured into the property business in any part of the world including India, however if there is an “exciting business proposal” that comes with good commercial value and trust, he might consider it positively.

“No, I have never done property business to be honest. I am given opportunities when I am working as a brand ambassador, I am told if you invest in this and that. I have never ventured into the property business.”

“I do businesses with passion; I love houses, I love buildings, I am a big lover of land and I have always like to have my own offices and own house like that, but so far I have not had the opportunity to go beyond what I required for myself. But if there is a partnership and if there is someone who gives me the kind of confidence because I don’t know this business at all. Somebody tells me that you come in and we will look after it, I would venture into it just for money, it should be an exciting proposal.”

Khan advises the youngsters not to indulge in a business that does not turn you on because business is always a risk and a chance

“I have never done a business for the sake of business or number crunching. I have always picked up things that I have really liked passionately. Most of the times, whether it’s Kidzania, whether it’s KKR, whether it’s an endorsement, I start it as a passion that I like,” Khan concluded.


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