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Ambani’s wedding ceremony is set to paralyze Mumbai traffic for four days (July 12-15)

When the son of Asia’s richest person, Mukesh Ambani, gets married in Mumbai this week, traffic in a key part of the city will come to a standstill for the four-day extravaganza attended by celebrities, business elites, and politicians.

The wedding of the billionaire’s youngest son, Anant Ambani, 29, and his long-time girlfriend, Radhika Merchant, 29, marks the culmination of lavish celebrations throughout the year.

According to police, it has been deemed a “public event” due to the presence of international and Indian VIPs.

Raising the ire of locals, roads near the venue—the upscale Jio World Convention Centre, owned by Ambani’s Reliance conglomerate in Mumbai’s central business district—will be open only for “event vehicles” between 1 p.m. and midnight from July 12-15. This restriction comes despite Mumbai’s notorious congestion, particularly during the monsoon season.

Traffic has already slowed around the immediate area of the venue, which is being adorned with decorative lights and red flowers. Marigolds and bright yellow lights have also been used to decorate the trees outside Ambani’s 27-storey mansion, Antilia, in Mumbai.

While organizers have been tight-lipped about the guest list, it’s expected to be a star-studded event.

Last week, Justin Bieber performed for hundreds of guests at a private pre-wedding concert, posing for photos with the bride and groom, who wore haute couture versions of traditional Indian attire.

In March, Rihanna sang at separate three-day pre-wedding celebrations in western Gujarat state. Bill Gates and Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg were among the 1,200 guests at that event. In May, the Ambanis organized a pre-wedding luxury European cruise with 800 guests, including Bollywood stars and cricketers.

Videos and photos of recent celebrations—including a video of the Ambani family lip-syncing and dancing to a Bollywood song, as well as one of Mukesh Ambani and his wife driving with their grandchildren—have flooded social media and are being extensively covered by Indian media.

Friday’s wedding will feature traditional Hindu rituals, and the reception will be held over two days. On Monday, there will be a “special reception” for Ambani’s household staff, according to a document detailing the plans.

Rajan Mehra, chief executive of Club One Air, said the Ambanis have hired three of his company’s Falcon-2000 jets to ferry wedding guests, expecting over 100 private planes to be used for the events. “The guests are coming from all over, and each aircraft will make multiple trips across the country,” he said.

For some Mumbai residents, it’s all too much, with social media buzzing with complaints. “How can it be a public event? Surprised by special treatment at the expense of the normal public,” asked one user on X. “If it is a public event, can I go inside??” asked another.

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Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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