Gurgaon, India’s hottest luxury destination

Part of NCR (National Capital Region) Gurgaon is today the fastest growing city in India, having seen tremendous development in the past decade. What used to be a suburb of New Delhi, Gurgaon is nowadays a vibrant city which most consider the business capital of India, with most local conglomerates and multinational companies being headquartered in Gurgaon.

Gurgaon is 10 kilometers from the newly renovated Indira Ghandi International and Domestic Airport and 30 minutes by car to New Delhi. Gurgaon is well linked by rail and road not only to Delhi but also the cities of Faridabad and Jaipur. The Metro (undeground) which was launched last year, has reduced considerably travel time between New Delhi and Gurgaon.

With the approval of 52 Special Economic Zones, the highest in any district in India, Gurgaon has been a top choice for international investments. Gurgaon boasts the third highest per capita income in India and an employment growth rate of 11%. In 2010, Gurgaon was reported to contribute 7% to India’s $ 17,7 billion annual export revenues.

Economic growth has sparkled unprecedented development of residential real estate. With a booming upper middle class and a growing top wealthy (HNWI), Gurgaon has seen developments of large luxury residential complexes. One of the largest isAralias, a fully serviced 250 luxury apartments complex, with state of the art SPA facilities, tennis, restaurant, fitness centre and swimming pools. The complex, which was inaugurated in 2006 is now fully occupied, a two bed room apartment selling today for no less than $ 4 million, a 20 time increase from 2006. DLF, the developer of Aralias, will deliver next year another similar complex, Magnolias, with 600 luxury apartments – SPA, dedicated golf, cinemas etc. Both complexes are located adjacent to the 24 hole professional golf course owned and managed by DLF which attracts the country’s elite. Central Park is another similar complex with over 600 upscale apartments, the second phase on being on sale. Of the 356 upscale apartment of the Phase II of Central Park complex, over 50% have been sold.

There are several luxury villa complexes which sell from $ 5 million. One such complex is the sold out  Tatvam Villas complex by developer Vipul which comprises of 254 exclusive villas spread over 50 acres. Tatvam Villas complex features a luxury SPA by Banyan Tree. The Villas – Uniworld Resorts by Unitech is another such complex, currently under construction on 154 acres, featuring an exclusive club for 170 families (tennis, swimming pools etc).

Gurgaon is home to India’s largest private hospital (Medanta), with state of the art facilities and an exceptional team of doctors. Developed by world renowned cardiac surgeon Naresh Trehan, Medanta caters not only to Indian patients but also to International in-patients, reaching a record of 300 foreign patients arriving daily from all over the world for the most complex surgeries and medical proceedures.

Six months ago saw the opening of the Oberoi Hotel Gurgaon, an impressive contemporary resort style luxury hotel, with extensive conference facilities and the most sophisticated dining experience, attracting both hotel guests and locals. Oberoi Gurgaon is not only a statement of modern architecture integrating green spaces and large water surfaces but also a statement of 21st century luxury based on Oberoi’s legendary service.

Dining options at The Oberoi, Gurgaon  include two restaurants, a bar, a delicatessen and the country’s only exclusive Cigar Lounge. ‘threesixtyone’, the all day dining world cuisine restaurant, is amongst the largest of its kind in India. It features five show kitchens that offer an extensive menu of Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Indian cuisine. It also includes a live patisserie. The Indian seafood speciality restaurant, Amaranta, serves contemporary coastal fare from the country’s 7500 kilometre coastline.

The Oberoi, Gurgaon also features The Arcade, a luxury shopping gallery with a very bright and air design based on white marble and with access from within the hotel as well as on the way from the main entrance to the hotel The two dramatic glass towers at the gate entrance of the hotel are also dedicated to retail. Bottega Veneta, Canali, Burberry and Jimmy Choo are among the first international luxury brands which have opened mono-brand franchise stores at the Oberoi Gurgaon Arcade. Several other top international luxury brands are expected to open at The Oberoi Gurgaon by Spring 2012.

One of the major attractions of the Oberoi, Gurgaon is an Indian contemporary art gallery. The luxury lifestyle offering of the Oberoi Gurgaon is completed with a Beauty Salon by Rossano Ferretti – Italian hair maestro and Global Ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel and Kerastasé. The relocation of the Rossano Ferretti salon from the Aman Delhi Hotel in Delhi to Gurgaon is the perfect illustration of the shift in trends, a large number of the young affluent Delhi population moving to Gurgaon. There are several five star hotels in Gurgaon too: Trident, Crowne Plaza, Fairmont, Marriott, while Hilton, Vivanta by Taj are scheduled to open by the end of 2012.

In contrast with Gurgaon, Delhi presents very limited opportunities for development of luxury, both in retail and hospitality, due to the lack of suitable real estate and the staggering cost of land. Within the next 5 years, unless one of the existing luxury hotels convert part of their space to luxury retail, there are no other projects. As for hospitality, The Leela Palace Chanakyapuri is the only new luxury hotel to have opened downtown Delhi in the past 5 years.

One of the major arguments in favour of Gurgaon’s development as a luxury lifestyle destination is the fact that it features a faster growing wealthy younger population – middle and top management employees in the multinational companies as well as business owners. More and more wealthy families and inidviduals from Delhi choose to move to Gurgaon, driven by the quality residential, infrastructure and business. We estimate that the current 100.000 HNWI population of Gurgaon will double within the next five years, making Gurgaon a top destination for luxury lifestyle – shopping as well as sports and entertainment.

Oliver Petcu

CPP Luxury Industry Management Consultants Ltd.