Is Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, taking over Portofino a lesson in grandiose gone wrong? Tourists and locals were irked as they could not access public areas, whereas many residents of Genoa were up all night from the loud music on the chartered cruise ship.

Via Instagram / @_mayfairmasala


While Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, worth $115 billion, and his family were seen laughing, mingling, and making the most of their personal party space in Portofino, the locals were left irritated, and tourists troubled. It sounds ostentatious to host a party of almost 1,200 guests to mark the special occasion of your youngest child’s pre-wedding celebration. But did the centibillionaire go a bit too far by monopolizing the pleasures of Portofino exclusively for his near and dear ones?

Via Instagram / @_mayfairmasala

The commune of Portofino, one of the most significant, picturesque, and bustling areas of the tiny fishing village on the Italian Riviera coastline, was wholly cordoned off for the affluent assemblage. No tourists or locals were allowed near the bay, which understandably rubbed many the wrong way, especially the tourists.

Via Instagram / @dav_davittorio

Never before has Portofino been entirely closed down for the gala of a billionaire, which is why they are now at the receiving end of some flak.

Police cordoning an area of Portofino for the Ambani bash. Via Instagram / @gcm.montanari

One Italian user on X wrote, “Many other celebrities and billionaires have celebrated in Portofino; none of them have ever removed access to the main point for others.” Another user complained, “Many billionaires have come to party here, but no one has ever taken away access to the main part of the city. Who do they think they are? They can’t just come in, throw their party, and make it difficult for people to do their daily chores.”

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The complaints continued: “I couldn’t see the main attractions of Portofino this weekend due to a private event organized by an Indian or Pakistani billionaire for his spoiled son. There have been many events hosted by billionaires in the past, but none have ever closed the area.” What was a mere party for the Indian tycoon and his family was a day of livelihood for some locals. A local guide shed light on the economic impact by sharing, “As a local tour guide in Portofino, it is disheartening to see our city closed for a private event. Our livelihood depends on tourism, and this weekend was a huge setback.”

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The Celebrity Cruises Ascent, which is one of the largest cruise ships in the world, docked in Genoa. Via X / @antodelprino

Most of the world has been left open-mouthed by the stupendous scale of the Ambani celebrations—first in March 2024 and now in a four-day cruise extravaganza in France and Italy aboard the Celebrity Ascent cruise liner, which was completely chartered for guests and parties. While the guests had a merry time partying the locals living close to the port of Genoa had a really tough time. According to Il Secolo, the music from the cruise ship was so loud that three neighborhoods in Genoa, where the 1,072-foot-long cruise ship was docked, remained awake the entire night. Despite their complaints to the authorities, no action was taken, and the thumping music only stopped at dawn when the guests finally left in their cars for Cristoforo Colombo Airport to board their chartered flights.

They indeed reveled in the splendor and opulence of the celebrations, showcasing their generosity and grandeur to their guests. However, a bit of consideration for the people of Portofino could have turned a contentious event into a truly memorable occasion for all.

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.