Shah Rukh Khan in talks to revive RAK project
Bollywood star revisiting development axed during financial crisis
Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan has revealed he is actively trying to revive a multi-billion dollar development bearing his name in Ras Al Khaimah, which was axed during the financial crisis.
Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard, at the time a $2.2bn residential development on Dana Island, was to be the actor’s first endorsement in the UAE.
That will now be Royal Estates, a 100mn ft2 master development in Dubai Industrial Park.
Launching the new project on Wednesday night, SRK also revealed he was in talks to revive the RAK development, which was cancelled in 2010.
The man, who has endorsed dozens of brands globally, reiterated his disappointment that his self-named boulevard did not go ahead.
“It’s not up to me to revive the Boulevard,” he lamented, adding that the project’s developers, including Ruler of RAK Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, had so far only held one meeting. “I wish I could. I’m glad it’s at a renaissance stage.
“You know those were times which were bad for the world; it’s a world economic disorder that happened. We had some great ideas, good thoughts and it should have gone through but unfortunately everybody in the world at that time just sunk.
“Recently we started talking again that it was a good idea, that it was a good thought, so we should go back to trying to make it at a different level, make it newer, as the times have changed.”
But while he wants the project to be completed, he has also moved on.
“While those negotiations [in RAK] are going on, if I get another job, don’t envy me please,” he said.
The Royal Estates development, a joint venture between Aristocrat Real Estate Development, PAL Development and Pacific Ventures and designed by Tony Ashai and SRK’s wife Gauri Khan, will include 400 townhouses and apartments.
Despite being officially named Royal Estates by Shah Rukh Kahn and carrying the King Khan’s Design logo, SRK concedes he has done little but lend his name to the development.
“Let me be very, very clear at the onset, between these three very wonderful people I would have no say on the designs at all,” he said. “Between the three of them you don’t need anyone else to design this place.”
However, he insisted the housing be affordable and designed around the kitchen – a central part of family living, the father of three said.
“Most of the stuff that I do [endorsements for] … I like it to be … not too populist, it’s not too elitest, it’s somewhere in the middle,” he said.
“It should be something belonging to the real world, where I come from. I’m a normal middle class man.”
SRK lost his father as a teen and mother in his early 20s. He said owning his own home – something he did not achieve until he was 32 years old and had made his break in Bollywood – was a goal he hoped everyone would achieve.
But, now worth $600mn according to Wealth X, the producer and businessman claims he has “no idea” about investing in property.
“As far as investment is concerned, with all due respect to the reputation I have as a businessman … I have no idea at all,” he admits.
“I’ll be very honest, I will never guide anyone wrong. If today my son was to ask me, ‘is this the right time to invest?’ I’d say, ‘I’m not the guy to ask to, go ask someone else’. I have no idea.”