Taj Mahal replica developer in talks with hotel operators

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Land of India and the Taj Arabia, in Falcon City of Wonders.

Land of India and the Taj Arabia, in Falcon City of Wonders.

Link Global, the company behind Dubai’s US$1bn replica of the Taj Mahal, is in talks with four international hotel operators to manage the 300-room hotel, its director has told Arabian Business.

The Dubai-based firm said it has been inundated with requests from jewellery and retailers wanting to rent retail space in the development, said Arun Mehra.

“We are already negotiating with three or four [hotel] operators; we want to bring the best in,” he said. “They are all international… one of them is not yet here [in the UAE] but is quite big.”

“Around the Taj we have wedding and romance as a theme… The gold and jewellery business in Dubai is multiplying every year so it will be jewellery retailers. We’ve had a huge response from the big players in jewellery wanting the prime spots,” he added.

Link Global made international headlines last month when it announced plans to build a replica of the Taj Mahal in Dubai’s US$36.5bn Falcon City of Wonders development. It will be four times the size of the original Taj Mahal in Agra when complete.

The project, known as Taj Arabia, is slated for completion in 2014 and will include 1m sq ft of retail space. Infrastructure work for the project is almost completed with construction work on ground expected to begin in the first quarter of 2014, said Mehra.

The proposal has been slammed by cultural officials in India who claim the plans to copy the UNESCO world heritage site will detract from the original building.

“It is patently wrong and absurd,” former Agra legislator Satish Chandra Gupta told India’s IANS news agency. “This kind of distortion and in principle duplication of history artificially makes no sense.”

“You cannot re-create history. Agra must get its share in terms of royalty from anyone using the brand Taj Mahal,” he added.

Others called on the developer to scrap the project altogether. “Ideally the Dubai builder should not go ahead with this project as it hurts our sentiments,” said Surendra Sharma, president of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society.

“Taj Mahal is basically a spiritual centre, with thousands of people offering prayers and paying obeisance round the year.

“The Taj represents or climaxes the 5,000 years of Indian excellence. To belittle the original through a fake model is not a desirable thing,” he added.

Mehra dismissed critics of the project, claiming that it is unlikely to affect livelihoods of those living in Agra. “The criticism is coming from a very small population around the Taj. It’s not going to affect their livelihoods with people coming to see the Dubai one instead of the original,” he said.

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Posted by: Opee K.T

Dubai is known for lot of duplicate materials being imported mainly from china and distributed all around gulf countries and now here comes hype of duplication. The duplicate TAJ MAHAL.

Posted by: RaOne

People beware......This project is doomed.

What is the background of this company that is developing this project.? Have they done any similar size project before this?

So far not a brick laid and they are just doing Press Releases.... Big Hotel brands, Jewellery shops... just creating hype without any confirmed names.

Such Press Releases are to fool people. If they have signed contract with a Hotel Brand then do the press release with a photo ops and actual names.

Is this project even registered with RERA? I didn't find it on RERA side.....maybe i am not using the right keywords.

Posted by: Rosso

People who are asking for money contribution from this are just looking for some quick pay out. No one should pay anything to the Taj Mahal. People should go and find other sources to extort their money.

This has been done before and it would not be the last time such a project would be thought of. Look at the Disney theme parks in the US. They are a copy of some parks and castles in Germany.

It seems to me to be just a load of jealousy and bitterness.

Posted by: Bilimoria

Rosso, Disney theme parks DO NOT use the names of the parks and castles copied by them from Germany!

Here they are not only copying the landmark, but also using the names.

I agree with you though that money contribution is a quick pay out scheme thought of by some individuals/political party in Agra!

Posted by: Ajay

Very sad to hear. Why to copy why don't they use their own brain to create something new and better if they are so intelligent.
Very poor copy makers shame on you.

Posted by: Bilimoria

Building a replica of the famous and one of the seven wonders of the world - The Taj Mahal, as a hotel, will be an insult to the history and world heritage! By allowing this project to go ahead, the Dubai government is ignoring the cultural and historical values, as also showing to the world that when it comes to commercial proposition, Dubai does not care for such values, nor the feelings of the people of India! It is still not too late to change the building design, if they really care about the values.

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