Dubai-based NRI consortium plans township in Kerala

Will have education zone similar to Knowledge Village

Prince Holding, a  consortium of non-resident Indians from the UAE, along with Indian investors from America and Europe, intend to develop two self-contained townships in India that will contain all facilities that expatriates returning home for good will need.

The consortium is planning two self-contained and eco-friendly townships in Banglore and Kochi with an initial investment of $350 million, Sebastian Joseph, chairman of the consortium, said in Dubai.

The proposed ‘GATE’ project in Kochi will contain an education zone similar to Dubai’s Knowledge Village. 

Prince Holding (Pravasi Investment Consortium and Equity Holding) Ltd has several NRI members from the UAE, said director Balagopal Veliyath.

Sebastian said the project will be developed on a consortium basis. The consortium has submitted detailed project reports at the recently concluded ‘Emerging Kerala 2012’ meeting in Kochi.

GATES (Globally Advanced Techologically Enabled Society) will help affluent returning NRIs to do business or provide education for their children.  According to the consortium, about 500,000 overseas Indians are likely to return home in the next five years. The townships will offer every service that expatriates who have returned home after several years of abroad would need –including a mortuary service.

The education zone will house, among other things, a leading university, colleges and schools for nearly 2,000 students. OLMEC Consulting FZ LLC, a Dubai based education management company, is talking to educational institutions including an international university to set up facilities within the education zone.

Sathish Gopinathan, senior partner, said the education zone will have features similar to Dubai-based Knowledge Village.

After India opened up retailing and education for foreign direct investment, many foreign universities and retail chains are keen to enter the country and the proposed Gates projects will offer these companies a gateway to the South Indian market.

The township near Kochi’s Nedumbassery Airport will have an education zone from kindergarten to post-graduation, special business zones, technological centres, an international financial centre, hospitality zone, NRI facilitation centre and a shared facilities zone of sports academy, retail strip mall, multiplex, food courts, library and residential zones with villas, row hosues and apartments.
“Each Prince Gates project will have 500 NRI participants.  $400 million is the expected outlay for each project.   Though Kerala has been chosen as a preferred destination, keeping in view the fact that Keralites constitute a major expatriate chunk of expats, Prince Holding is also exploring the possibilities of similar ventures in neighbouring states,” he added.

The Banglore project near Nandi Hills and the Kochi project near Periyar River, will each have 100 acres of land with 30 per cent as green area, consortium members claimed at a press conference in Dubai.

The projects are based on the “walk to work” concept and will enable residents to minimise transportation to their offices.  Consortium members said the project has been submitted to the Kerala government for approval within 90 days.

The consortium members will meet NRI associations from around the world and 12 such meets have been finalised in the USA, Balagopal Veliyath, Director of Prince Holding said.

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