Friends teased him about his height. He replied by purchasing 23 flats in the tallest tower in the world, Burj Khalifa. That is George V Neryamparampil’s story, as he would have you hear it.
“How can a short man like you even see the Burj Khalifa fully, let alone enter the world’s tallest tower? Can you enter this building?” a friend of George joked. Since then George decided to buy a flat in the world’s tallest tower and within a short period, he is the owner of 22 apartments, on different floors of Burj Khalifa.
He recollects the apartment numbers for us: “10406, 90004, 8903 … I have recently completed a deal to purchase my 22nd flat in Burj Khalifa.
“Now I own 22 flats in the tower and I will purchase more if I think the deal is good. My friend teased me once saying I cannot enter this prestigious building but I took it as a challenge. For me nothing is impossible,” George told 'Emirates24|7'.
Hailing from a business family in Trichur, George came to Sharjah four decades ago and started working as an automobile mechanic.
“A man’s mind is where his wealth is. My mind is in my family and the property and business that belongs to me,” he muses. “I began living in the Burj Khalifa as a tenant. Then I purchased my first flat investing some money I made from doing a project for Dubai Metro. Then I bought the second, third, fourth, fifth …and now 22nd apartment.
“Because I have businesses in Dubai generating profit, I have found Burj Khalifa an ideal investment option,” he said, adding that he does not rent out his apartments because the first tenant left some scratches on the wall.
“Every year I spend about Dh3 million to maintain my properties in Burj Khalifa. I have full faith in the visionary leadership of UAE and the long-term vision behind the creation of this world class icon in Dubai,” George asserts, adding that the real estate prices here may go up further, and as a businessman, he is never scared of slowdown or recession.
“Every day I take at least 10 new visitors to Burj Khalifa because many people want to see the apartments. When I brought 10 Indian labourers to stay in the world’s tallest tower for a day, they felt like they reached heaven.
“The labourers were living in a camp one day and then staying in the such a tower was a great experience,” George explains.
George is quite familiar to Keralites, as he is the single largest shareholder in CIAL, the company that owns the Kochi International Airport. “I could not attend my father’s funeral because there was no direct flight from Dubai to Kochi to reach my home- town Thrissur,” he says. “For millions of overseas Keralites an airport was needed. When the Kochi International Airport Project was launched initially, there was no keen interest from investors.
“The company faced a severe financial strain and the staff were facing lack of funds.
“I went to the company office and offered to invest in the project. Now CIAL is a very successful company running the international airport in Kerala,” ‘Georgetta’, as he is proudly called by his friends and family, says.
“I am trying to rebuild the Georgettans Raagam Theatre in Kerala. Whatever money I earn in the UAE can be profitably invested in such assets,” George adds.
About 1,000 people work in companies run by George. Geo Electricals Trading and Contracting Co LLC started in 1984 and today, there are 16 companies under the Geo Group in the UAE employing nearly 1,000 people. George today has also properties in Meydan and Ras Al Khaimah, and factories in Sharjah and Ajman.