PNC Menon doesn’t mince his words when describing his involvement in Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid City project.
Almost three decades after his entrepreneurial journey began, and at the age of 65, the founder of the Sobha Group of companies says it is “the most exciting thing to have happened in my life”.
Menon says in terms of land size, the 4.2 million square-metre (sqm) District One, which is being built in a joint venture with Dubai developer Meydan as the first phase of the overall city, was the biggest single project the company had ever embarked on.
“It’s a dream project for me,” he says in the surroundings of his Dubai home in Emirates Hills. “Both of us, we are so committed to this project and we are making sure this is one of the best projects on earth.”
“A lot of it is driven with a lot of passion. For me this is a dream and we would go to any extent to make sure this is well planned.”
For Menon to be as enthusiastic today about the company’s projects says much about the man whose rags-to-riches tale is the stuff of business legend.
From humble beginnings running an interior decoration firm in the Sultanate of Oman, today the Sobha Group is a fully backward integrated, multinational, multiproduct organisation spanning the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Brunei, Tanzania and India with interests in real estate, construction, building services, architectural and engineering design, retail and software.
With an annual turnover of $600m and 31,000 employees, it has delivered 60 million square feet (sqft) of projects, with land holdings of 240 million sqft.
“We have a lot of experience,” Menon says, modestly.
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