Mukesh Ambani is building on his real estate empire in Dubai with another purchase of a beachside villa, breaking his previous record for the city’s most expensive residential real estate deal in a matter of months, according to people familiar with the matter.
Ambani bought the Palm Jumeirah mansion last week for about $163 million from the family of Kuwaiti tycoon Mohammed Alshaya, said the people, who asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak publicly.
Mr. Alshaya’s conglomerate owns the local franchises of such retail brands as Starbucks, H&M and Victoria’s Secret. Mr. Ambani is Chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd., India’s largest company by market value, and has a net worth of $84 billion.
The billionaire has been buying property abroad, looking further and further west for second homes. Reliance spent $79 million last year to buy iconic British country club Stoke Park and Ambani is also eyeing a property in New York, Bloomberg reported.
Ambani’s latest purchase in Dubai is a short walk from the $80 million house he bought earlier this year. That deal was the largest residential sale in the city’s history until another mansion on the palm-shaped island sold for $82.4 million.
The Dubai Land Department reported a $163 million property deal on the Palm Jumeirah earlier this week, without disclosing the identity of the buyer. A Reliance spokesman declined to comment, while representatives for Alshaya did not respond to requests for comment.
The flurry of record deals underscores Dubai’s recent success in attracting some of the world’s richest business executives. The city-state’s real estate market, which contributes about a third of its economy, is recovering from a seven-year slump thanks to the government’s nimble handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and initiatives aimed at giving expats greater participation in the economy.
Foreign residents make up more than 80% of the population of the United Arab Emirates. They have been a mainstay of the economy for decades, mostly working in the private sector and spending their money on property or shopping in some of the world’s largest malls. Indians, in particular, have consistently ranked among the top buyers of real estate in Dubai.
Late last month, the emirate’s prime property prices rose more than 70% over the past year, the biggest gain in Knight Frank’s global index.
While that has outpaced gains elsewhere, there have been some landmark deals globally. In the US, Joe Tsai’s Blue Pool Capital acquired a New York penthouse formerly owned by Dan Och for $188 million, while Asia’s most expensive apartment per square foot sold in Hong Kong for HK$ 640 million ($82 million) in November.
Meanwhile, London’s most expensive home, a Knightsbridge mansion overlooking Hyde Park that changed hands in April 2020 for £210m ($232m), is up for sale again.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)