Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is the latest celebrity to enter the United Arab Emirates’ booming real-estate market.
On Sunday, he launched Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard, a $2 million beachfront residential development on the man-made Dana Island off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates. The little-known emirate aims to emulate Dubai, whose thriving property market has attracted endorsements from celebrities including Brad Pitt and Boris Becker.
Scheduled for completion in 2012, The Boulevard will comprise modern townhouses and 10 residential towers, and will spread across an area of 600,000 square feet. The project will also feature a diverse range of lifestyle amenities such as an underwater disco and lounge.
Though master planning by an international team of designers and architects is set to begin soon, Khan has already offered design ideas for the project.
“I lost my father at 15 and mother at 25 — lived like a homeless for a long time,” Khan said. “I have a strange fetish for homes — it’s close to my heart. Bit by bit, I have built my home where the future of my children lies. While I have done so much for my home, why I can’t I extend this to others?”
To mark his appreciation for Khan’s interest in the emirate’s growing real-estate sector, H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, hosted a luncheon in honor of the actor.
“Projects like Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard will definitely add more value and variety to the lifestyle offerings available here”, Sheikh Saud said.
Khan said he was excited about his real estate venture in Ras al Khaimah.
“I am very glad for having had an opportunity to meet H.H. Shiekh Saud and to know more about the wonderful vision he has for the development of the emirate,” Khan said.
“The Arab world is Hindi film industry’s strongest foreign market. Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard is my tribute to the love and affection shown by the people of the UAE to Indian cinema.”
In The Sand Castle, WIDE ANGLE travels to the royal headquarters of the United Arab Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah as HH Sheikh Saud solicits top European architects to carry out his grandiose dream of a new capital city in the middle of his desert kingdom.