Mukesh Ambani and wife Nita Ambani
Mukesh Ambani and wife Nita Ambani dance during the pre-wedding celebrations of their son. Image Credit: ANI

New Delhi: When the son of Asia's wealthiest man prepares to tie the knot, it's not just any ordinary celebration. Billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani has kicked off a three-day prenuptial extravaganza in Jamnagar, a small western Indian city, four months ahead of his youngest son's wedding ceremony. The event has attracted tycoons from across the globe, heads of state, as well as Hollywood and Bollywood stars.

Among the 1,200-person guest list are luminaries such as pop superstar Rihanna, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Sunder Picha, Ivanka Trump, and Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan. All eyes are on Anant Ambani, 28, and his long-time girlfriend Radhika Merchant, 29, who are set to exchange vows in July. Radhika is the daughter of Viren Merchant, CEO of Encore Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., and entrepreneur Shaila Merchant.

Such lavish festivities align with the Ambani family's tradition of grandeur, showcasing the Indian billionaire's economic and political influence. Here's a breakdown of the Ambani family and the spectacle surrounding this prenuptial bash that has captivated the nation.

Who is Mukesh Ambani?

Mukesh Ambani, 66, currently ranks as the world’s 10th richest individual with a net worth of $115 billion, according to Forbes. He holds the title of the richest person in Asia. His conglomerate, Reliance Industries, boasts an annual revenue exceeding $100 billion, with interests spanning petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecommunications, and retail.

Under Ambani’s stewardship, Reliance triggered a telecom revolution with the launch of the 4G phone and broadband service Jio in 2016. Today, Jio boasts over 420 million subscribers and offers 5G services. In a recent move, Disney struck an $8.5 billion deal to merge its India business with Reliance Industries, forming a new media giant.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg with Bill Gates and Paula Hurd
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg (left) with Bill Gates and Paula Hurd during the pre-wedding celebrations. Image Credit: Reuters

The Ambani family's assets include Antilia, a 27-story private apartment building in Mumbai worth $1 billion. The opulent residence features three helipads, a 160-car garage, a private movie theater, a swimming pool, and a fitness center. Mukesh Ambani has begun transitioning responsibilities to his two sons and daughter, with Akash Ambani overseeing Reliance Jio, Isha managing retail, and Anant venturing into the new energy business.

Do you crave a party like no other? The Ambanis have got you covered

Extravagant celebrations are synonymous with the Ambani family. In 2018, the grandeur of Ambani's daughter's wedding made headlines, with pop sensation Beyoncé performing at the pre-wedding festivities. Notable figures like former US secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and John Kerry graced the occasion alongside Indian celebrities and Bollywood stars in Udaipur.

Later that year, the engagement of Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal was celebrated overlooking Lake Como in Italy. The couple exchanged vows in December 2018 at the Ambani residence in Mumbai.

What makes the pre-wedding extravaganza so captivating?

The three-day prenuptial bash offers a glimpse into the opulence awaiting guests at the July wedding. Set in Jamnagar, the Ambanis' hometown and site of their main oil refinery, the festivities promise jungle-themed outfits and visits to an animal rescue center run by the groom-to-be, Anant. The center, known as “Vantara” or “Star Of The Forest,” spans 3,000 acres and shelters abused, injured, and endangered animals, particularly elephants.

Guests will begin each day with a new dress code, with mood boards and a retinue of stylists, makeup artists, and Indian wear designers at their disposal. Traditional Hindu ceremonies will take place in a temple complex, complemented by a sumptuous array of 500 dishes prepared by around 100 chefs. Additionally, the Ambani family organized a community food service for 51,000 people residing in nearby villages as part of the festivities.