Top Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar is shopping for a home in Dubai and is even considering shifting his base from Mumbai to Dubai.
“I was busy with the film promotions all day but my wife Tina has been looking at properties here,” said Kumar who stars in this Thursday’s release Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Again.
He was chatting with Shaikh Mohammad bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, managing director of the Rashid Pediatric Therapy Centre, at Shaikh Mohammad’s home in Nad Al Sheba on Sunday night following a rigorous round of city-wide promotions for his gangster drama. He was invited along with his co-stars Sonakshi Sinha, Imran Khan and the film’s producer Ekta Kapoor to get a taste of Arabic hospitality.
“Dubai is such a dynamic city. It’s so welcoming that it feels like a second home now. And I have been here so many times so that’s why we decided to purchase a home here,” said Kumar, sipping tea.
With this development, he joins the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty and Sohail Khan who own property in Dubai. The father-of-two is also contemplating creating a base in Dubai as he finds the city inviting.
“There are so many Indians and Pakistanis here, the environment is comforting and it feels like I haven’t even left home. If my family were to shift anywhere, this is the home we would like to move to permanently,” said Kumar. Kapoor, the producer of Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Again, also gave her nod of approval.
“Dubai is an amazing city and I come here for a holiday often. When I holidayed with my mother, we stayed at the Burj Al Arab. She loved it. We didn’t step out but we just hung around the hotel all day,” said Kapoor.
Dubai wasn’t the sole topic of conversation. It was endearing to watch UAE royalty get acquainted with the world of Bollywood.
“Why is Bollywood called Bollywood?,” asked Shaikh Mohammad,to which Khan answered: “Because of the Bombay connection.”.
“Does the wood part of ‘Bollywood’ refer to the wooden actors?” joked Kumar, adding that India is a vast country with multiple regional film industries.
The informal interaction wasn’t restricted to the world of films as the host brought over a giant dinosaur egg encased in a glass to show his Bollywood guests.
“Wow, I always loved paleontology as a child. This is incredible,” said Khan. The actors were quick to whip out their mobile phones and take pictures of the giant egg, which was a gift to the Shaikh by a Korean official. For a second, the stars were turned into fans who just wanted to stare and admire the object in front of them. Earlier that night, the stars put in an appearance at the Meydan IMax but made a hasty exit at the sight of frenzied fans.
“Wow, this is just awesome. Maybe we should take a picture holding this giant dinasour egg,” said Kumar.
Somehow the egg proved to be the best ice-breaker during the evening as the stars were then game to discuss everything from the manic road traffic of Mumbai to Bollywood’s biggest star Shah Rukh Khan.