‘open house’ at world’s priciest home
MUMBAI (AFP) - Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani has
hosted a lavish “open house” party at his opulent
new skyscraper residence believed to be the world’s
most expensive private home.
Some 80 of India’s rich and famous attended the
festivities at his just-completed 570-feet tall
(174-metre) home, which dominates the skyline above
Mumbai’s traffic-choked roads, the Times of India
Top-selling Indian novelist Shobhaa De, who attended
the party, called the building -- said by media to
be the world’s priciest private residence with a
price tag of over one billion dollars -- “the Taj
Mahal of the 21st century”.
Ambani, who heads India’s largest private
company, petrochemical giant Reliance Industries,
will need 600 employees to maintain the palatial
residence, reports said.
In a first-person account for the Times of India, De
described gliding down a high-speed elevator to
“what has got to be the biggest, glitziest ballroom
in India -- the Palace of Versailles is a poor
“It was possible to believe for one mad moment that
we were all at Cinderella’s ball,” she said,
describing groaning buffet tables lining “one of the
Ambani, his wife and three children are to live
in the 27-storey building, which according to
reports has six floors of parking, swimming pools
and a cinema. It is named after the mythical
Atlantic island “Antilia”.
One newspaper suggested it epitomised “the swagger
and confidence of India’s economically buoyant upper
Ambani, 53, is India’s wealthiest man with a
27-billion-dollar fortune, according to Forbes.
Anti-poverty campaigners have highlighted the
contrast between the opulent pad and the plight of
many in Mumbai, where half of an estimated 18
million people live in sprawling, insanitary slums,
with sketchy or non-existent electricity and water