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This Kerala-born billionaire owns the most enviable cars

·3-min read

Yusuff Ali’s super car collection is bound to make you super jealous

For most people outside of Kerala, Yusuff Ali may not be a name that would necessarily ring a bell. If, however, you’ve lived in or have ever been to Kochi you’d likely know him as the man behind the massive LuLu International Shopping Mall. The massive shopping complex, which pre-pandemic would see a daily average footfall of over 80,000 people across 1.85 million sq ft of space, is part of a large chain of malls and other businesses owned by Ali.

Yusuff Ali, chairman and managing director of Lulu Group International, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) India Economic Summit in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. The summit runs until October 7. Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Yusuff Ali, chairman and managing director of Lulu Group International, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) India Economic Summit in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. The summit runs until October 7. Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Who is Yusuff Ali?

Forbes magazine calls Ali the Middle East retail king. With more than 193 stories in the Gulf and around the world, Ali’s LuLu Group makes a revenue of $7.4 billion annually. Yet Ali is not one who was born with the proverbial silver spoon. 

He was born in a small town in Kerala before he arrived in Abu Dhabi in 1973. There he joined his paternal uncle’s distribution business. Eventually, he built it out and got into importing, wholesale distribution and, eventually, steered the business into the hypermarket space. He opened his first LuLu mall in 1991 at the peak of the Gulf War.

How rich is Yusuff Ali?

According to Forbes, the folks who do this kind of thing for a living, Yusuff Ali’s net worth is $4.9 billion.

How did Yusuff Ali become so rich?

Ali’s bet on the supermarket business has, for most part, paid off. With a vast network of hypermarket chains, LuLu is also the single largest employer of Indians living outside of India. Just before the pandemic hit, in April 2020, a member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi bought a 20 per cent stake in LuLu for a cool billion dollars.

Ali also has investments in the hospitality businesses. He owns the Waldorf Astoria in Scotland as well as the Great Scotland Yard Hotel, which was the building that housed the UK Metropolitan Police before it moved HQs.

What cars does Yusuff Ali own? Does Yusuff Ali own a Rolls Royce?

Like most billionaires, Yusuff Ali has a fascination for luxury cars. And yes, Yusuff Ali does own a Rolls Royce. If luxury magazines are to be believed, Yusuff Ali owns at least two Rolls Royce cars.

Of the Rolls Royce models he owns are the Rolls Royce Cullinan and the Rolls Royce Ghost. These are possibly the most popular RRs in the world. The Rolls Royce Ghost, which comes at a cool Rs 7 crore in India, is also the base variant of the company. According to a Cartoq, it’s the model he drives around when in Dubai.

Yusuff Ali also, reportedly, owns a Bentley Bentayga and the BMW Series 7. The Bentley is the choice of several billionaires including Mukesh Ambani. It’s also a car that’s favoured by Bollywood royalty such as Shah Rukh Khan. Among the others in Bollywood who own a Bentley Bentayga is Ajay Devgn.

Yet another crowd favourite, if crowd comprises millionaires and billionaires, is the BMW Series 7. Sachin Tendulkar, Alia Bhatt, Saif Ali Khan, even Nagarjuna have been spotted in their respective BMW Series 7 wheels.

Range Rover
Range Rover

No self-respecting billionaire would leave out cool SUVs from their garage and sure enough the ones on Yusuff Ali’s garage are among the best. According to GQ magazine, Ali owns two Land Rover Vogues and a Lexus LX 750.

But no car speaks like one having a cool number plate, right? And that’s where the relatively humble Mini Cooper Countryman comes in. The sexy luxury (well, we did say relatively) hatchback is also part of Yusuff Ali’s garage, though this one has a super cool number plate: 0001. Just the kind of thing that’d make your head turn, no?

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