The 'film city' will cater to India's movie industry, as well as tourists
Abu Dhabi-based Indian billionaire BR Shetty plans to open a “film city” in India’s Jammu and Kashmir that will cater to the country’s booming film industry and for curious visitors, the founder and chairman of BRS Group has revealed.
“It’s a very scenic place, and I’m going to have a film city there, so that people can come and shoot films there, and for tourism,” he said in an exclusive interview with Arabian Business. “I’ve already got land offers from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, about 3,000 acres.”
"I said fine. They are very happy,” Shetty added. “Nobody comes and contributes like this. People say that if GDP comes down, India is going down. But we should always be optimistic.”
In August – during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE – Shetty pledged $1 billion to Jammu and Kashmir, as well as an additional $5 million to the New India Development Fund.
Earlier in the month, India’s government scrapped Kashmir’s autonomy, bringing the region under direct federal government administration.
The ‘film city’ is only the latest of BR Shetty’s forays into the film business. In late 2017, he announced plans to invest $150 million to produce ‘The Mahabharata, which at the time was described as India’s biggest ever movie.
At the time, it was said that the two-part film is scheduled for release in early 2020, with the second part released within 90 days of the first.
“I am going to invest my own money and dedicate all my strength to make the best film that will make our Indian community proud,” he said in an October 2018 interview with Gulf News.
Additionally, earlier this year Shetty announced plans to invest $5 billion in India’s healthcare sector, with a focus on high-quality, affordable healthcare facilities.
Shetty told Arabian Business that the plans will also include money from private funds linked to the royal families of Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
“I’ve also already talked to DeutscheBank, and they’d agreed in principle to participate. Also JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley,” he said. “Those are the types of banks that will participate. I’m confident….What I’m planning is on an all-India level.”