Dubai pad

From Sax­on­wold to the UAE, the Gup­tas are mak­ing them­selves com­fort­able in the equiv­a­lent of and they’re build­ing a Hindu tem­ple at a cost of R200m in In­dia

CityPress - - News -

and its mon­eyed fa­cade is on dis­play, right up against the road.

Half­way down the palm-tree-lined boule­vard, a two-toned metal­lic brown and white Rolls Royce Ghost is parked in the drive­way. It’s not that th­ese homes don’t have garages, but sur­pris­ingly few lux­ury cars use them.

Prop­erty in Dubai has be­come a safe-haven, like gold. Es­tate agents and jour­nal­ists City Press spoke to re­counted sto­ries of “dirty” money ar­riv­ing in suit­cases from places like Rus­sia to buy prop­er­ties in cash, and sky­scrapers be­ing built but never let be­cause their sole pur­pose is to park the money.

Ni­cholas Shax­son, au­thor of Trea­sure Is­lands: tax havens and the men who stole the world, fa­mously called Dubai “one of the filth­i­est spots on the planet” due to its at­ti­tude to­wards fi­nan­cial trans­parency.

Most things aren’t public in Dubai. Even the build­ings are elu­sive – huge sky­scrapers of re­flec­tive glass have names like Indigo Tower and For­tune Tower but they give no clue to what goes on in­side.

Un­like South Africa, few com­pa­nies and their di­rec­tors are listed on a public reg­is­ter, there’s no dis­clo­sure of ben­e­fi­cial own­er­ship, and prop­erty records can’t be ob­tained with­out a power of at­tor­ney.

In Jo­han­nes­burg, there’s no sign that the Gup­tas in­tend sell­ing their Sax­on­wold homes. Even when ZS-OAK has been out of the coun­try, Sa­hara Es­tate’s gates have re­mained open.

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