Kabir Mulchandani

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Kabir Mulchandani
Born (1972-10-06) 6 October 1972 (age 46)
ResidenceDubai, United Arab Emirates
NationalityIndia
EducationStanford University, Phillips Exeter Academy
Spouse(s)Nadia Zaal

Kabir Mulchandani is an Indian-born, Dubai-based businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Mumbai. He is the founder and CEO of FIVE Holdings (formerly SKAI Holdings) with interests in real estate and hospitality. He is ranked as one of the Richest and Most Powerful Indians in the Persian Gulf region.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

He pursued his undergraduate studies at Stanford University, in the United States, where he majored in industrial engineering, and earlier graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy. Prior to that he attended the elite Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai.

Career[edit]

Baron Electronics[edit]

Mulchandani served at Baron International and Baron Electronics, two Mumbai-based, family-owned firms that specialised in the distribution and sale of consumer electronics. He was termed as 'Mumbai's Marketer' by The Economist magazine in 1998.[3] Baron faced with great financial difficulty and conflict with its foreign partners resulted in an end to this business under Mr. Mulchandani's management.[4]

SKAI Real Estate[edit]

In 2011, he founded SKAI Holdings, a Dubai-based real estate investment firm. In 2013, SKAI revealed plans for a luxurious hotel on Dubai's manmade Palm Jumeirah, and signed up Viceroy, the Los Angeles based hotel management company to brand and manage the property. He was quickly celebrated as the come back king of Dubai in the local media, along with his French educated Lebanese partner and architect Nabil Akiki and his long time friend Aloki Batra. Kabir's circle of trusted friends later expanded to include Indian educated consultant-cum-site supervisor-cum-hotelier Jaydeep Anand and his CFO Dhananjai Cadambi.

In the end of 2016, SKAI officially completed building the $1.17 billion Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai hotel with 477 rooms and 221 residences.[5]

FIVE Hotels[edit]

In 2017, Kabir changed his company's name from SKAI to FIVE, symbolized by “V” which is the Roman numeral five.

The Viceroy Palm Jumeirah hotel opened on 31 March 2017,[6] with much of its beach off limits for guest use due to the ongoing construction works by master plan developer Nakheel. In June 2017, FIVE terminated Viceroy as its hotel manager, and the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah was rebranded as FIVE Palm Jumeirah.[7] Since then, the new operator has completed all the unfinished works including the beach, spa, salon and 8 F&B outlets.

A few weeks before Viceroy's termination, Mulchandani announced the first hospitality REIT in the Middle East.[8] The REIT launch was delayed indefinitely, and there has been no mention of it after the initial announcement.

In December 2017, Luxury Travel Intelligence (LTI), a members-only resource for travelers, labeled Five Palm Jumeirah as one of the worst new hotel openings of the year. LTI said the hotel is impressive but attributed the legal battle with the previous operator as the reason for the ranking.[9]

In the two years since rebranding to FIVE Palm Jumeirah, the property has won a host of international and local recognitions, including; recognized as one of the top ten hotels in Dubai by Forbes Middle East; awarded Favorite Culinary Hotel at the Conde Nast Traveler Middle East Readers’ Choice Awards; a visit to its nightclub Secret Room noted as “the most spectacular money-no-object experiences in Dubai” by CNN; awarded best Rooftop Bar at the Time Out Nightlife Awards; and Dubai’s Best Italian for Quattro Passi at the BBC Good Food Awards

FIVE officially opened its second property, FIVE Jumeirah Village, on 2 September 2019. The property, which boasts 269 pools, has 247 rooms and suites as well as 254 one, two and four-bedroom hotel apartments. The hotel has won a number of design awards, including the Tall Buildings prize at the Architectural Review MIPIM Future Projects Awards and the prestigious Developer of the Year at the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) Awards.

Controversies[edit]

In 2009, Kabir was arrested in Dubai for a highly publicized case of real estate fraud. He was first let out on bail, and later acquitted of all these charges in 2010.[10]

His legal battle with Viceroy over operator rights of the Palm Jumeriah hotel was highly publicized, and continues to play in multiple jurisdictions. Viceroy's termination took place on the same day Viceroy's UAE shareholders announced their plans to wholly own the company. Viceroy's web page has a clear note on it distancing itself from the property as it is run today.

In 2017, entities affiliated with Kabir have been the source of two out of a total of eight cases reviewed by the Dubai Joint Judicial Committee. The first case by Assas Investments Limited against FIUS Capital Limited, and the second one between ASSAS OPCP (sic) and VIH Hotel Management Ltd..

Personal life[edit]

In 2012, he married his second wife Nadia Zaal, an aspiring real estate developer in her own right, in a three day wedding ceremony on a remote Maldivian island. Kabir and Nadia live in Dubai with their four children.

Philanthropy[edit]

Mulchandani, who won Philanthropist of the Year at the CEO Middle East Awards 2017,[11] supports a number of charities. In March 2017, his company FIVE launched Project Udaan with the aim of saving a life every day in India. The project provides daily life-saving surgery to children born with congenital heart defects, whose families could otherwise not afford the medical costs.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The 50 Richest Indians in the GCC 2017". ArabianBusiness.com. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  2. ^ "50 Most Powerful Indians in the UAE 2017". ArabianBusiness.com. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Mumbai's marketer". The Economist. 25 June 1998. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Developer SKAI completes $1.17bn Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai hotel". Gulf Business. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai Opens | Luxury Travel Advisor". www.luxurytraveladvisor.com. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Viceroy Palm renamed Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai". Gulf Business. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  8. ^ Divecha, Devina. "Middle East's first hospitality focused REIT launched". HotelierMiddleEast.com. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Two hotels in Dubai are rated the worst luxury openings of 2017". Arabian Industry. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  10. ^ Arabian Business http://www.arabianbusiness.com/videos/indian-tycoon-cleared-of-fraud-on-why-worst-is-over-for-property-401752.html
  11. ^ Rai, Sarakshi. "UAE hoteliers win top accolades at CEO Middle East Awards". HotelierMiddleEast.com. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Project Udaan". FIVE. Retrieved 23 January 2019.