By Flat Chat reporter Sue Williams in Mumbai
Where is the world’s most expensive apartment?
The answer may surprise you: it’s in India. And the building was started by Australian company Leighton Construction.
The South Mumbai home is actually, at US$2 billion, the most valuable private residence on earth, with a stunning 37,160sqm of space over 27 storeys, and a 168-car garage, complete with a full service station on the seventh floor.
Owned by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, head of oil, gas and telco conglomerate Reliance Industries, it has three helipads, an 80-seat theatre, gardens, a spa, a ballroom, a temple, an ice-cream parlour and even – to beat the summer heat – a ‘snow room’ with man-made snowflakes.
Even more bizarre, with nine high-speed elevators and 600 resident staff, ‘Antilia’, built in 2010, is home to just five people.
Mr Ambani has been criticised by many Indians for owning such an over-the-topskyscraper home for so few people, They say it’s obscene to build such an
ostentatious home when so many fellow Indians are struggling to put a roof over their heads.
But Mr Ambani is not moved ,saying that while his father earned the family fortune with just a table and a chair and a good idea for oil exploration, anyone can become a billionaire if they work hard, and smartly, enough.
Even for the man who recently threw a lavish wedding celebration for his daughter, with Beyonce singing and Hillary Clinton invited, however, living in such a tall tower isn’t without its problems.
The Environment Ministry recently ruled that he shouldn’t be allowed to use the helipads, and he’s being sued by someone who claims he shouldn’t have been sold the land on which he built his dream home.
Ironically, it was previously the site of an orphanage for homeless, parentless kids.