Russian billionaire, the former owner of Moscow’s renowned Cherkizovsky Market, Telman Ismailov, surprised the whole world on Saturday (May 23) as he opened his luxury hotel – Mardan Palace in Antalya, Turkey.
The largest hotel on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea has crystal balusters and a three-storeyed night club. Arab sheikhs never saw such a palace in their dreams – they now have a very good reason to envy the Russian oligarch.
Sharon Stone, Richard Gere, Monica Belucci, Paris Hilton, Russian celebrities and several officials of the Moscow city government attended the solemn ceremony to open the palace. Mariah Carey, Seal and Tom Jones were hired to perform at the opening of the most expensive luxury hotel in Europe. Acrobats, caviar and fantastic fireworks were also present. Mr. Ismailov himself compared the ceremony with the grand opening of the Olympic Games.
The hotel construction project is evaluated at $1.65 billion.
The fact that Russian billionaires prefer to spend their earnings abroad does not surprise anyone now. Some of them relax with supermodels on most expensive resorts, others purchase yachts, castles and football clubs.
Mardan Palace stands out from all those occupations. The palace was built during the time of the crisis. The construction industry in Moscow is experiencing hard times now, but it does not seem to be a problem for Mr. Ismailov.
In October 2006, Ismailov hired US pop singer Jennifer Lopez to perform at his birthday. The businessman paid Lopez $1.5 million for her performance.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.