Emaar MGF, the joint venture between the Dubai-based Emaar Properties and Delhi-based MGF, has committed $12 billion investment in India for residential and commercial projects and drawn up plans for what it claims will be the country's largest mall.
The joint venture is also planning to bring the haute couture Armani Hotel to India and has firmed up residential and commercial projects in cities spanning Manali in the north to Kochi in the south.
"We have on our drawing boards India's largest mall," said Shravan Gupta, Emaar MGF's managing director without specifying where and when the realty company was planning to set up the huge mall.
"It will be smaller than The Dubai Mall but similar in flavour," Gupta told a team of visiting Indian reporters here. Emaar is building the world's largest mall called The Dubai Mall in the new downtown Burj Dubai area in Dubai.
For the record, The Dubai Mall will house 1,276 stores with four levels of retail space. Spread over 3.8 million sq ft, it will also have the world's largest gold souk and over 100 restaurants. It will have a 10-level parking space that can accommodate 14,000 cars.
Though Gupta did not go into the details of the group's proposed mall in India, he, however, gave a glimpse of Emaar MGF's plans for India, which has committed the biggest foreign direct investment in the country.
"Of the $12 billion, $5 billion will be in the residential sector. The rest will go into hospitality, retail and healthcare," Gupta said, adding that work on all these would start within the next six months.
"Delhi and Mumbai will have something like Burj Dubai," Gupta said and explained that the project is an amalgam of residences, commercial space, hospitality projects, retail outlets, boulevards, landscaped parks and lakes.
"It is like Manhattan being recreated."
Spread across 500 acres, Burj Dubai is the flagship project of Emaar Properties and is being developed at the heart of Dubai to become "the most prestigious square kilometre" in the world.
Gupta said the only problem in replicating the project in India was land. "The government and defence are sitting on the best of land. So it becomes difficult to do good real estate projects in India."
Speaking about the haute couture hotel project, Gupta said: "The first Armani Hotel in India will come up in maybe four years."
Officials explained that in a similar project in Dubai, Emmar would be handling real estate, construction, management and operations, while Giorgio Armani will oversee content, design and style, interiors and amenities.
Elaborating further on Emaar MGF's projects in India, he said several projects for residential townships had been planned like in Mohali over 3,000 acres, as also in Gurgaon and Hyderabad.
"We have launched our first residential project in Gurgaon, The Palm Springs."
Among other ongoing projects of the company is a golf course in Hyderabad. "Nine holes are ready and the other nine will be complete in the next three months," he said.
Gupta said around 70 per cent of Emaar MGF's land bank was in north India and the rest in other parts of the country, adding projects were planned in Hyderabad, Cochin, Kolkata, Indore, Jaipur and Lucknow.