THE $2 BILLION HOME: Welcome to “Antilia”, The most expensive house on the planet
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The $2-billion dollar, 27-story, 400,000 sq/ft home, property of the world’s 20th billionaire, petroleum titan and wealthiest man in Asia, Mukesh Ambani, sits in the heart of Mumbai, India. In reality, this magnificent piece of real estate falls second after the Buckingham Palace, estimated at over $5 billion dollars. However, Buckingham is a Crown property, while Antilia is a privately owned home.
Mukesh is responsible for a fifth of India’s exports, which is outrageous considering India represents about 20% of the world’s population.
The 27 floors are about double the height of standard floors, so the building is actually as tall as a 50 to 60-story building.
A 6-story elevator-garage exclusively devoted to storing up to 168 cars and their service station. Above the six-floor garage stands the sumptuous lobby holding 9 elevators. On the top of the building you will find three helipads.
The first two floors are comprised of a recreation center, with a 50-seater movie theatre, a gym and health spa, a hair salon, an icecream room and a yoga studio. Further up is the ballroom, with multiple crystal chandeliers that cover 80% of the ceiling.
The fabulous structure was built by architects Perkins and Will from Chicago, and the interior design was developed by Leighton Holdings from Australia.
The sumptuous residence includes its own temple, and an ice room, equipped with a snow generator; several balconies with luscious gardens and the vegetation attached to large portions of the outer walls are meant to absorb the sunlight and keep the interior as cool as possible.
Although just six family members live in the residence, it’s kept by a staff of 600 specialized professionals, including butlers, cooks, cleaners, maintenance, and security personnel, to name a few.
Ambani was one of four children of Dhirubhai Ambani, who first worked as a gas-station attendant. Owing to the increasingly unstable political climate in Aden, the family relocated in 1958 to the Bhuleshwar neighbourhood of Bombay (now Mumbai), where they lived in a chawl (a communal building that commonly features low-rent two-room apartments). In the same year, Dhirubhai and a cousin founded the Reliance Commercial Corporation, which grew from a commodities-trading business that they initially operated out of a one-room rental space into RIL.
Ambani earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Bombay (now the University of Mumbai) and subsequently pursued a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University. However, he left the program in 1981 to join the family business, where he worked to diversify the company, venturing into a vast array of areas, including communications, infrastructure, petrochemicals, petroleum refining, polyester fibres, and gas and oil production. In 2004 he was named one of the world’s most respected business leaders by the professional-services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Ambani has been credited with creating the globe’s largest start-up petroleum refinery as well as spearheading the creation of several state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that vastly increased RIL’s production capabilities. In 2006 he was chosen to cochair the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF)—an international organization made up of some of the world’s prominent business leaders, politicians, policy makers, scholars, philanthropists, trade unionists, and representatives of non-governmental organizations that convenes annually to discuss global commerce, economic development, political concerns, and important social issues. The following year he became India’s first rupee trillionaire.
In 2007 The Economic Times newspaper and the news agency Press Trust of India simultaneously named Ambani the world’s richest man. The following year he created the Mumbai Indians, an Indian Premier League cricket team. In 2010 he was elected to serve as a member of the WEF Foundation Board.