A helicopter carrying UAE business tycoon Yusuffali MA and his family made an emergency landing in India on Sunday morning due to bad weather conditions, it has been confirmed.
Ali, the owner of hypermarkets chain LuLu, who was travelling with his wife and a few other people in Kochi, are all safe, a source told Zawya.
The businessman was on his way to visit his uncle in a hospital when the incident occurred.
“The pilot decided to make the emergency landing because it started to rain heavily. It was not a crash landing. They landed in a [swampy] area,” a source told Zawya.
“He [Yusuffali] is okay. Nothing happened,” he added.
Some local media reports earlier claimed that the businessman’s helicopter had crash-landed.
An official statement issued later confirmed that the helicopter, carrying a total of six people, departed from the businessman's home in Kochi on Sunday morning to visit a hospital nearby. However, a sudden change in weather conditions prompted the pilots to make an emergency landing.
"Due to the sudden deterioration of the weather conditions and heavy rains, the experienced pilots decided to make a precautionary landing at a safe place to prevent any risk of the passengers or the public at large," the statement said.
"All passengers and crew underwent necessary medical check-up and are safe."
Yusuffali was in Abu Dhabi on Friday to receive the “highest civilian award” from His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and deputy supreme commander of UAE armed forces.
The businessman, 65, who first arrived in the UAE capital 47 years ago, is the chairman and managing director of LuLu Group, which owns a chain of hypermarkets across the UAE and abroad.
The Abu Dhabi-based company has been on an expansion spree since the beginning of the year, opening a total of three hypermarkets in the UAE, two in Oman, and one each in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and Indonesia.
Ten more hypermarkets are scheduled to open in the UAE this year.
(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)
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