Dubai tycoon to give 50% of fortune to charity

Dubai-based businessman PNC Menon plans to give 50 percent of his personal wealth to charity, he told Arabian Business.

Dubai-based businessman PNC Menon plans to give 50 percent of his personal wealth to charity, he told Arabian Business.

Menon, the founder and chairman of Sobha Group of Companies, will open education institutes in India and Oman, he said.

“Once you make all of the money I don’t think you should keep all of it for your family, a large portion of it should go to society. I have decided that 50 percent of mine should go to society,” he said.

“My view is very simple; I am lucky to have made my money. After a certain point in time money cannot make a difference in your life. I feel that its not even called charity, it’s about accountability and the responsibility of society,” he added.

Menon was ranked the GCC’s 21st richest Indian with a fortune of $600m, in a list published last month by Arabian Business.  His firm established Sobha Heritage and Sobha Academy in 2006 to provide education and social welfare to around 2,500 families in two villages in India, Vadakkenchery and Kizhakkenchery.

Sohba Group was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange in 2006 and employs 28,000 people across the Gulf and India. The firm, which was established in Oman, plans to expand its operations across India and the GCC, said Menon.

The firm will break ground on its Dubai-based Meyden development in the next two months, he said. Sobha will also expand its business to include a three-star hotel management company called Strada. The subsidiary has identified land in Mohammed Bin Rashid City for its first property, a 250-room hotel, and hopes to manage up to 100 hotels across India, Africa and the Middle East.

“There is a huge market if we can manage such a group and manage it very well, there is a huge potential. We are looking at building up 50 to 100 hotels. We’ll be managing but initially some of the investments will be done by us and then over time we’ll only manage the hotels,” said Menon.

The firm will also announce plans for a second major real estate project in Dubai in the next two weeks and expand its operations in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, he added.

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