who bought Ireland is dead, England is deserted, while Australia
and New Zealand have merged.
They were designed
to make Dubai the envy of the world: a series of paradise islands
inhabited by celebrities and the super-rich reclaimed from the azure
waters of the Arabian Gulf and shaped like a map of the Earth. It
was called The World.
of tonnes of rock were dumped into the sea for the foundations,
timely leaks suggested that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were to
buy Ethiopia, Richard Branson was tipped to occupy England, while
Rod Stewart would border him in Scotland.
has become the world’s most expensive shipping hazard, guarded by
private security in fast boats and ringed by warning buoys to keep
the curious away.
that was meant to send Dubai’s star into the firmament of First
World cities has been left to the mercy of the waves and the baking
mile of breakwater built from boulders brought hundreds of miles
by ship has been laid, but inside its man-made lagoon, work has
map of the world of 300 islands is instead a disjointed and desolate
collection of sandy blots – a monumental folly just out of
sight of Dubai’s shore.
Those who bought
into what was the world’s most ambitious building project were not
Many were more
ordinary investors who put down 70pc deposits, some of them Anglo-Indians.
turned developer, John O’Dolan (51) fronted a consortium under his
O’Dolan International banner and bought Ireland for e28m in 2007
and last year snapped up England from under the noses of several
UK interests for e23.5m.
But the property
crash brought tragedy in its wake as the Galwayman committed suicide
in February of this year.
As well as
his foreign investments, the popular family man had extensive business
interests in Ireland. He owned a bar and a hostel in Galway as well
as other properties in Dublin and Limerick.