New York may be the city that never sleeps, but it's no match for Mumbai. Honestly, it's not even close. With a population of more than 20 million—and urban density that tops 29,000 people per square kilometre—this city's bustle is matched only by its hustle. And as India's economy continues to grow, and trade with Canada increases rapidly (the two countries have vowed to expand annual bilateral trade to at least $15-billion by next year), the boom registers strongest in Mumbai, the subcontinent's financial capital—which, word to the wise, is almost always known locally by its old name, Bombay.
Lay of the land
It can take forever to travel from one end of town to the other, so location is everything. The Oberoi Mumbai is situated on Nariman Point—one of the city's main business districts and where many international corporate headquarters are located. The executive suites have enough room for small meetings and offer one of the best views in all of Mumbai: the twinkling lights and grand, curving sweep of Marine Drive, known locally as the "Queen's Necklace." For something a little more intimate, try Le Sutra. Located in leafy Bandra—a hip suburb that's filled with restored bungalows, airy cafés and bars, and the lavish homes of the biggest Bollywood stars—it's one of India's first art hotels. The 16 rooms are richly appointed with Hindu figures, paintings and giant Indian murals.
Make your pitch
Indigo has long been one of the city's best bets when it comes to fine dining—an upscale South Mumbai standby that has attracted the likes of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Brad Pitt. It specializes in Eurasian fare with Indian accents, with an emphasis on seafood, so try their pan-roasted reef cod crab dumpling with curried spinach and coconut lime sauce, or some broiled lobster tail with lobster risotto, zucchini-wrapped tiger prawns, braised radicchio, polenta and saffron butter.
Seal the deal
The crush at street level can be suffocating so getting above the bustle is a good idea. You can do so in style at Aer, India's highest rooftop lounge, which spans the 34th floor at the Four Seasons Mumbai. Head there for their Sunset Happy Hour, which comes complete with Moët & Chandon by the glass, funky beats and 360-degree views.
What to read
Gregory David Robert's acclaimed novel Shantram is a cult classic and gives readers a look at the grit (and glamour) of Mumbai's underbelly (much of the action takes place in and around Café Leopold, a fixture on the Colaba Causeway since 1871). Warner Brothers is making a movie with Johnny Depp as the producer.
Something to eat
If you're stuck doing business at the Oberoi Mumbai, take a break and visit Chef Vineet Bhatia's Ziya, which offers contemporary Indian fare such as grilled ginger and chili lobster. It's the perfect way to break bread with new business partners.