Super celebrities Brad and Angelina recently purchased Ethiopia for an undisclosed sum. Initially reporters had concluded the mega rich couple had purchased the actual country in an effort to acquire hundreds of thousands of children for them and their celebrity friends. As it turned out they merely purchased the island of Ethiopia in the UAE’s islands of “The World” development.
The Ethiopia island is one of 300 islands shaped like a map of the world that range in price from 6 to 36 million dollars.
The couple plan to use the island to “showcase environmental issues and encourage people to live a greener life, according to the
Representatives of the pair in the US and other reliable sources had confirmed the purchase had gone ahead. But state-owned Nakheel, the firm behind the development called “The World”, declined to comment, the paper said.
The new owners of Ethiopia
What better way to celebrate the environment than to purchase an island that environmentalists say is adversely impacting the region’s waters. From the air, The World and Palm projects create a highly visible impression on the landscape of Dubai. And back down at sea level, significant changes in the marine environment are leaving a visual scar of another type. As a result of the dredging and redepositing of sand for the construction of the islands, the typically crystalline waters of the gulf of Dubai have become severely clouded with silt. Construction activity is damaging the marine habitat, burying coral reefs, oyster beds and subterranean fields of sea grass, threatening local marine species as well as other species dependent on them for food. Oyster beds have been covered in as much as two inches of sediment, while above water, beaches are eroding with the disruption of natural currents.
The profound underwater changes currently taking place as a result of construction are only matched by the grandiose vision of Nakheel developers. Plans for one palm island project, The Palm, Jumeirah, includes an artificial diving park complete with four themed areas from which enthusiasts can choose One area called Snorkler’s Cove will feature traditional marine life as well as an added incentive–a daily deposit of a single solid gold one-kilogram bar, worth $15,629 at current gold prices. Developers also intend to transfer and sink several wrecks for a more dramatic diving experience. Project backers assert that such additions will actually help attract fish and other marine life by providing shelter and leading to reef expansion and community diversification.
The couple’s two-year-old daughter Zahara was born in Ethiopia. Billionaire businessman Richard Branson and musician Rod Stewart are also reported to have bought plots on the development.
The bustling emirate of Dubai, which is a member of the UAE federation, is busy positioning itself as a global leisure and finance hub through The World and several other mega-projects including the world’s tallest tower.
More about the Development
The same company that brought us The Palm Islands, Al Nakheel Properties (Nakheel Corp), have done it again expanding their portfolio of man-made islands with this latest Dubai island project shaped like the continents of the world. The World will consist of between 250 to 300 smaller private artifical islands divided into four categories – private homes, estate homes, dream resorts, and community islands. Each island will range from 250,000 to 900,000 square feet in size, with 50 to 100 metres of water between each island. The development is to cover an area of 9 kilometers in length and 6 kilometers in width, surrounded by an oval shaped breakwater. The only means of transportation between the islands will be by marine transport.
Construction has begun on the $US 1.8 billion project which is set to be completed by the end of 2005. It will be located 4 kilometers off the shore of Jumeirah, close to the The Palm Jumeirah, between Burj Al Arab and Port Rashid of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Each island will be sold to selected private developers and are expected to have pricing beginning at Dhs. 25 million (US$ 6.85 million).
Video of the development
Another video of the development
Marina on one of the islands.
Utilities on the island.
Transportation in the development.
Map of the development.
Artist’s rendition of the finished project.
The World site.