Sanjay Dutt
Sanjay Dutt Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt -- who shuttles between his plush pads in Dubai and Mumbai -- believes money cannot buy happiness, but there are possessions in his life that remain priceless.

On top of that list is a home that this actor – who’s now the face of a prominent local property developer Danube -- acquired in Mumbai when he was in his thirties. The cancer survivor, who beat claims he will never let that go.

“I was relatively young in my thirties when I bought that home in Mumbai and it remains so close to me even now,” said Dutt in an interview with Gulf News.

His wife, Manyata, who was in the same room during the sit-down interview remembers how his first true real-estate investment remains precious for their family.

“That home is in Apsara [Co Operative Housing Society in Pali Hills] is so close to Sanju. His father lived there forever and breathed his last there. So that home is very special to Sanju and it’s still with us and will remain with us forever,” said Manyata. The road near that home is also named after his mother and late legendary actress Nargis Dutt.

The couple were in Dubai recently to talk up the budget-friendly apartments under the Danube Gemz umbrella, headed by Rizwan Sajan.

Stock - Sanjay Dutt and Rizwan Sajan
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt with Danube founder and chairman Rizwan Sajan

“It’s a great feeling to be here today. I have said this many times that Rizwan bhai is like family to me and his vision and thoughts are amazing. He thinks about people who are from the middle-class and lower-middle who wish to own properties here in Dubai. It’s a very good thought,” said Dutt, who was born into the lap of luxury and privilege.

His parents, Sunil and Nargis Dutt, were prominent actors and his father held immense political clout in India. But now his family including his twins’ lives in Dubai.

So what prompted him to shift base to Dubai? The actor, who has featured in over 150 films and is a cancer survivor, claims it was not his decision alone.

“My wife had taken that call long time back and has been here for long now. I shuttle up and down between Mumbai and Dubai. They are happy, the kids are happy, and everybody’s happy. If they are happy, I am happy,” said Dutt. According to the actor, who is riding high after the spectacular success of his South Indian acting debut with Yash-starrer ‘KGF: Chapter 2’, his family were smitten by the UAE long before the pandemic hit the globe and has begun considering the UAE their home.

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Sanjay Dutt and Manyata Dutt Image Credit: Supplied

Many actors including Madhavan, Lisa Ray, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, director Shekhar Kapur, and singer Sonu Nigam have set up permanent bases in Dubai. Just like Dutt, they travel to Bollywood’s epic-centre Mumbai often when there’s work to be done.

“My Kannada movie debut was a great step for me … I have been embraced by the South Indians now,. I know it’s not fair to segregate based on languages and essentially we are all Indians even though our languages are different. But now we actors are now accepted by the Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam cinema … It was phenomenal to work in my first South Indian film,” said Dutt.

Sanjay Dutt in KGF 2
Sanjay Dutt in KGF 2 Image Credit: Supplied

His blue-print for his thriving career is pretty simple.

“I want to do a lot of movies and do a lot of production … And let’s see how it goes on the OTT [Over-The-Top platform] … I would love to do something of an action series,” said Dutt.

I have seen poor people who are happier than us

- Sanjay Dutt when asked if money can buy happiness
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“My dream is for people to own their homes rather than staying in rented apartments and we are offering a special payment plan … We want every middle-class family to have a home that’s easily affordable … And who better than Sanju baba, who’s like family to me, to be the face of Danube Gemz,” said Rizwan Sajan, founder, and chairman of Danube.
Sanjay Dutt, the face of Danube, at a recent press conference in Dubai Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News