x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Bollywood superstar looking to take centre stage in Dubai property market

Shahrukh Khan unveils the development ahead of his live show.

DUBAI //Shahrukh Khan, the Bollywood superstar, is to make his debut in a different role when he visits the UAE on Sunday - as a property developer. The star, whose recent blockbuster, Om Shanti Om, was a film about reincarnation, will be urging investors to put money into his new beachfront development. His legions of fans are not forgotten, however, as Khan and co-stars will be performing his live concert tour, Temptations Reloaded, at Dubai Festival City on Oct 25.

Khan, who already owns a property at Palm Jumeirah, is in the country to promote Shahrukh Khan Boulevard, a selection of one and two-bedroom apartments overlooking the sea at the Dana Islands project in Ras al Khaimah. Khan and his partners, TSA Group, will announce details of the development at a press conference on Sunday. Investors are already said to be showing interest in the project and it is expected to be popular among Asian expatriate investors.

Khan has been juggling his acting career with his business aspirations in recent years. He has his own film production company and, last year, took charge of an Indian Premier League cricket team, the Kolkata Knight Riders. His first leap into the property markets will be closely watched by analysts in India as well as abroad. Khan's Bollywood roadshow is expected to attract an audience of more than 18,000 when it comes to Dubai next month.

Organisers said the event, the brainchild of Khan, "guarantees to be a delightful, never-seen-before extravaganza of Indian cinema's magic" with spectacular special effects and lighting. Other Bollywood stars, including Katrina Kaif, Arjun Rampal, Anushka Dandekar, Ganesh Hegde and Hard Kaur, will also be performing. Yesterday, fans were thrilled at news of his visit. "This is like a dream come true, said Krita Ahuja, from Dubai. "We see him in films and television and will not miss a chance to see him in person."

"Khan is the ultimate star and has possibly more fans than anyone else. His show is bound to have a huge turnout," said another fan. Bollywood has been showing an increasing interest in the UAE over the past few years. Stars, producers and directors have been paying regular visits and Yash Raj Films, India's leading film studio, has entered into a multimillion-dollar joint venture with Dubai Infinity Holdings to create the world's first large-scale entertainment district featuring Indian cinema.

Many Bollywood stars have also bought homes in the UAE. Actor Abhishek Bachchan and his wife Aishwarya Rai, recently bought a villa in the Sanctuary Falls, a villa community within Jumeirah Golf Estates being developed by Sheikh Holdings. pmenon@thenational.ae