Billion-Dollar House for India's Richest Man


Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man according to Forbes, just moved his family into a $1 billion Mumbai skyscraper -- occupying all 27 stories.

The 53-year-old tycoon's new home is larger than the Palace of Versailles and needs a staff of 600 to keep things running. The building has underground parking for 160 cars, three helicopter pads and a theater that seats 50. The Ambani family will occupy all 27 stories, which include a ballroom, several lounges, a health club, a dance studio and an elevated garden large enough to accommodate trees. Everybody needs a little greenery, right?

Some have suggested that the billionaire, like many of his billionaire compadres, was simply buying himself a private island. Indeed, he chose to name the structure Antilia, which is the name of a mythical island.
India, which has more cellphones than toilets according to the U.N. University think tank, remains one of the world's most impoverished places. And it would seem that Ambani isn't taking much heed of India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's urging that business leaders be "role models of moderation."

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But perhaps he isn't all that concerned about the Mumbai slums that his new pad towers above or the $2-per-day workers who labor below. Ambani owns much of Reliance Industries, an oil, biotech and retail conglomerate; Forbes put his wealth at $29 billion and named him the fourth-wealthiest man in the world.

Neither has the structure he built curried favor with everyone; some suggest it looks like a child's Lego creation, with protruding and receding segments -- seemingly at random. The interiors were designed by an American firm.

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