The UAE-based LuLu Group will invest Rs1,000 crores ($150 million) in India's Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state, to build a convention centre, a shopping mall and a five-star hotel.
Yusuff Ali M A, chairman of the group, made the announcement at the maiden Uttar Pradesh Pravasi Diwas (non-residents' day). Ali's announcement was appreciated by the state's chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and drew loud cheers from the audience.
With a net worth of $3.4 billion, Ali was ranked 24th on Forbes' list of India's richest 100, in 2015. He also hit the headlines for the $170 million purchase of the iconic Scotland Yard building in London, in July last year.
Ali said: "I have a very close association with Uttar Pradesh. Nearly 2,000 persons from UP are working in our food processing companies. I was offered a doctorate by different universities of the world, but the only one I accepted was from Aligarh Muslim University in UP. After receiving the doctorate, I mentioned the need for sports and donated Rs 50 million to construct a sports complex for boys. Now another Rs 50 million for girls will be given."
The investment will create employment for 3,000 people in the state.
The chief minister said the Pravasi Diwas was a positive start to the state government's efforts to reach out to its non-residents and for the state machinery to facilitate their connection with their roots. "I welcome Ali's promise to invest in Uttar Pradesh. The government will make every effort to ensure that land and any other assistance is provided to him so that he can begin work."
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