Meet the mechanic-turned-businessman who owns 22 flats in Burj Khalifa
George Nereaparambil's rags-to-riches story is quite incredible
Bengaluru - An Indian mechanic-turned-businessman owns an incredible 22 apartments in the world's tallest tower, Dubai's Burj Khalifa, a media report said on Sunday.
The Kerala-born George V Nereaparambil is believed to be one of the largest private owners within Burj Khalifa. His flat-buying spree began when a relative teased him about the 828m-high building.
"A relative of mine jokingly told me: See this Burj Khalifa, you cannot enter it," he said. Seeing an advertisement about an apartment for rent in the Burj Khalifa in 2010, Nereaparambil rented it the same day and moved in the very next day .
Now, six years on, with 22 of the 900 apartments at perhaps the Gulf's poshest address under his belt, he said five were rented, and, the rest "waiting for the right tenant". He has no plans of stopping at 22. "If I get a good deal, I'll buy more. I am a dreamer and I never stop dreaming," he told Khaleej Times.
Nereaparambil's rags-to riches story is quite incredible. He realised there was great scope for an air-conditioning business in the hot desert climate after he first touched down in Sharjah in 1976.
Nereaparambil then began setting up what is now a mini-empire, the GEO Group of Companies.
Nereaparambil showed a good head for business when he was just 11 and helping his father trade cash crops.
"People in my hometown used to trade cotton, but they'd throw away the cotton seeds. Not many knew you could make gum from those seeds," he said, adding that he would sift through the dirt for the seeds and often make a "90% profit selling them on".
"I'd do the same with tamarind seeds. I'd sell the empty shells on as cattle feed," he added.
Burj Khalifa is one of the tallest artificial structure in the world, standing at 829.8 mt (2,722 ft).
The ambitious project speaks of now faded boom times, but it is being completed as Britain and Europe totter on the brink of recession — and the Shard will loom over a city in decline.
At 632 meters (2,073 feet), the Shanghai Tower in the city's Pudong district is the world's second-tallest building, surpassed only by Dubai's Burj Khalifa.