They are a passion, a collector’s dream, a love unmatched, and, indeed a ticket to luxury life-style.
Cars, whether fancy ones, or uber luxury ones, are a way Indian billionaires are living it up in the UAE.
But for these lucky few, it is a dream they have been able to realise.
Gulf News asks some UAE billionaires on their favorite cars and how they like to flaunt it in the UAE.
What makes the story sweeter is that for some of these UAE billionaires, their childhood was hard – a struggle to say the least. But as life turned around for these businessmen, so did their aspirations and goals. And in the case of one billionaire we bring to you, he has earned the reputation of being a self-made man, despite his father being a successful entrepeneur.
Who are we talking about here?
Come take a peek into these people’s lives.
Adel Sajan, director, Danube Group
Who is he?
Adel Sajan is Danube chairman Rizwan Sajan’s son. We all know the senior Sajan’s struggles with money as a child. He [Rizwan] literally lived in poverty. And so when he started a family and began to see financial success, Rizwan ensured the past would not be forgotten. And these values were taught to his son Adel as well – just so he would not turn out to be a spoilt brat with all the success.
Adel was born and brought up in the UAE, and started work in Dubai from the age of 13.
“My father wanted to teach me business from the scratch. He always said there are no shortcuts to life. And so when I was 13, I was made to do odd jobs at various departments of my father’s business. One of my early assignments I did was working in the warehouse with workers. From here, I was shunted around in various departments until I turned 19.
It was only then that he was finally put in-charge of starting a division on his own – in the Danube Buildmart operations.
The rest is history, as they say.
Today, Adel is director of the Group and handles operations of Danube Home on his own.
So when we say Adel loves to indulge in these fancy machines – we say - it is well deserved.
How many luxury cars do you own?
Quite a few: A Rolls Royce Phantom, Ferrari California T, Lamborghini Bentley Bentayga, Cadillac Escalade a Bentley Flying Spur among others.
Your favourite among them
The Ferrari California T for sure. I bought the car in 2015. I have always had a fancy for this two-door hard top luxury sports car convertible, ever since I was 18 years old. When I turned 26, my start-up venture, the Danube Home hit its first $100 million turnover. The timing could not be better. So I thought it was time to gift myself this red bird. So here I am driving her around.
Which car do you drive when you are in Dubai
I take the Bentley Bentayga, the Cadillac Escalade during weekdays. The Ferrari California T and Lamborghini are for the weekends.
Any special memory with this car?
Many. But the ones that come to my mind is the ‘date nights’ during winters with my wife Sana Adel Sajan. I also have memories of taking the Ferrari out on the track. It was a lot of fun.
Weekends are as important as weekdays, and de-stressing is right at the top on my priority list. Most of the time is spent with family and friends at home, shisha cafes or at parties. All in all, I enjoy my weekends to the core and like to take things as easy as possible.
Dhananjay Datar, 55, chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading
Who is he?
He is owner and chairman of Al Adil Trading and was once a poor boy. As a child, he walked barefoot to school. And today, he drives a bespoke edition of Rolls-Royce Phanthom.
What is heartening is his endearing personality that makes him live up to his mega status and love life to the fullest.
And that is exactly why when his baby – Al Adil Trading – turned 25, he decided to celebrate it in style aboard a Royal Jet Airways Boeing 737.
What did he do?
He gifted his wife a bespoke edition of the Rolls-Royce Phanthom.
How many luxury cars do you own?
Quite a few besides the Rolls-Royce Phantom [bespoke edition]. I also own a Mercedes G65, Mercedes-Benz, a Limousine, Mercedes S 320, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
Which is your favourite?
The Rolls-Royce Phantom. There are several special memories attached to it. One is that Al Adil Trading had just turned 25 and I wanted to make my family happy. And so I surprised my wife with this bespoke edition.
About the special Phantom
It is a 6.75-litre V12. The saloon has been customized by Rolls-Royce’s bespoke design service and features a Pearl White paint scheme. As for the interior, it comes with hand-knotted silk rugs and moccasin carpets.
Oo la la is all we can say.
When you are in Dubai what do you drive?
The Phantom. In India, I like to mostly cruise in my limousine.
Any special memories inside the Phantom?
Plenty. My friends and family have all come with me on a drive inside the Phantom. Memories of the car waltzing in the night with friends and family is cherished in my heart.
Dr. BR. Shetty
Who is he?
Dr. B.R. Shetty is the founder and chairman of New Medical Centre (NMC), as well as the ubiquitous UAE Exchange, Finablr, Neopharma and BRS Ventures.
With just eight dollars (Dh29) in his pocket, a dream to succeed and his mother’s blessings, Dr. B.R. Shetty first set foot in Abu Dhabi on May 3 ,1973.
He is a multi-billionaire non-resident Indian (NRI) who has dedicated a large part of his life building an empire of healthcare facilities and other companies in the country.
Forbes set his personal net worth at a whopping $4.2 billion in August 2018.
What a success story this is.
Do you love cars?
Absolutely. The thrill of speed and freedom makes me love cars. My private collection of cars is an embodiment of my love for these super machines.
What is your favourite car?
Among my collection, it is the Morris Minor 1000.
About the Morris Minor 1000
The Morris Minor is a British car that made its debut at the Earls Court Motor Show, London in 1948. Designed under the leadership of Alec Issigonis, more than 1.6 million were manufactured between 1948 and 1972 in three series: the MM (1948 to 1953), the Series II (1952 to 1956), and the 1000 series (1956 to 1971).
Initially available as a two-door saloon and tourer (convertible), the range was expanded to include a four-door saloon in 1950, a wood-framed estate car (the Traveller) from October 1953 and panel van and pick-up truck variants from May 1953. It was the first British car to sell over a million units and is considered a classic example of automotive design as well as typifying "Englishness
Any special memories of the car
So many. Just sitting inside this classic piece and going for a spin is my way of de-stress and showing my love for cars.