ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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When Donald Trump Came to Mumbai

Mumbai's real estate is among the most expensive in the world. What transpired when Donald Trump decided to invest in the "unbelievably cheap" real estate of Mumbai is an example of how real estate developers, who now dominate the political economy and public culture of great cities, operate.

This article was first presented at “Constructing Asia: Materiality, Capital and Labour in the Making of an Urbanising Landscape” at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, 12–13 May 2016, supported by the Singapore Ministry of Education Research Fund Tier 1 (FY 2015 - FRC 2- 019). The author wishes to thank workshop organisers Eli Asher Elinoff and Malini Sur, as well as Chandrashekhar D Chore, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Improvements), Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.


In an interview to Forbes India in September 2014, Donald Trump made a characteristically outrageous statement.

Your real estate is unbelievably cheap... Mumbai is a great city and yet it is not priced like other comparable cities. It is priced lower than cities that are less important. That gives investors a tremendous amount of growth potential (Srivastava 2014).

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