An Indian businessman owns a staggering 22 apartments in the Burj Khalifa tower, the world’s tallest building located in Dubai in the UAE, local media reported yesterday.
George V Nereaparambil, a mechanic-turned businessman, says he intends to continue buying more if he gets a good bargain.
“If I get a good deal, I’ll buy more. I am a dreamer and I never stop dreaming,” he told a local newspaper.
Kerala-born Nereaparambil’s purchases in the property began when a relative teased him about the Burj Khalifa building, he says.
“A relative of mine jokingly told me see this Burj Khalifa, you cannot enter it,” he said.
After seeing a 2010 advertisement in a newspaper about an apartment for rent in the building, Nereaparambil rented the apartment the same day and started living in it.
Now, six years later owning 22 of the 900 apartments in the 828-metre high building, Nereaparambil said he has rented out five flats, and for the others, he is “waiting for the right tenant”.
In an incredible sounding rags-to-riches story, Nereaparambil realised there was huge scope for an air conditioning business after he came to Sharjah back in 1976.
Nereaparambil, who helped his father trade cash crops and made money from waste at the age of 11, then went about setting up the beginnings of his now mini empire, GEO Group of Companies.
“People in my home town used to trade cotton, but they’d throw away the cotton seeds. Not many people knew at that time that you could make gum from those seeds,” he said.
Sifting through the dirt and sand to gather up the disregarded seeds, he said he would often make a “90% profit selling them on”.
“I’d do the same with tamarind seeds too. I’d sell the empty shells on as cattle feed,” he added.
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