When great granite boulder outcroppings dot a city and come to identify the region, ‘Boulder Hills’ should be a sellable address for an upcoming property. Only, the Dubai-based real estate major Emaar Properties PJSC, which has a joint venture in India with local company MGF Developments Ltd, has done better than that. In the boulder-dotted outskirts of Hyderabad, armed with a capital outlay of $1.4 billion (Rs 5,610 crore), it is pitching ‘Boulder Hills’ as south India’s first integrated, worldclass leisure and residential community.Spread across 531 acres, the project includes, among other things, a fully-operational 192 acres championship golf course designed by Harradine Golf, a leading Switzerland-based golf course architect firm that has constructed over 200 golf courses globally.
The Hyderabad project is part of Emaar MGF’s bigger plan for not just south India but the entire country. It plans to invest over $3 billion across residential, commercial, retail, IT parks, special economic zones and hospitality sectors in over 10 locations in south India.
This is apart from its other investments in the country. The company has already built a landbank of around 13,000 acres in the country. Says William R. Rattazzi, CEO, Emaar MGF Land Ltd: “India is very important and today accounts for 10 to 15 per cent of the overall investments (of the Dubai-based group) outside the UAE. Going forward, India will contribute 20-25 per cent of Emaar’s total international revenues by 2010.”
In India, Emaar, with its Indian partner, has a pipeline of projects across residential, hospitality, retail and IT/commercial sectors in over 26 Indian cities. Over the next few years, it plans to add about 18 million sq. ft of retail space, 30,000 rooms in the hospitality sector and 55 million sq. ft of residential development across the country.
The projects in the south, into which $3 billion is being sunk in terms of investments, are all expected to be ready in the next five to seven years. The company plans to develop over 31 million sq. ft across 10 locations in south India.
Emaar was in the news early this year for shelving its Rs 7,000-crore public issue plans. The company, says Rattazzi, depending on the market sentiments, could get ready to revisit those plans, and a public offering could hit the market in 12 to 18 months.
—E. Kumar Sharma