Monthly Archives: October 2007

Football legend, Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the most well-known figures in English and World football was in Dubai today, to officially launch the third season of Manchester United Soccer Schools as part of the Dubai Sports City project.

Details of the new program, which is expected to be the most successful to date, were announced at the launch event, which was attended by not only Sir Bobby, but also representatives of Dubai Sports City and presenting sponsor Milo. This is the third season of MUSS skills development sessions and is set to attract over 750 boys and girls from across the region, with over 60 nationalities creating a truly multi-cultural sporting environment.

Plans are proceeding , despite vehement opposition in France, to build a Louvre in Abu Dhabi. The building will, for want of a better word be, “unusual.” A shallow dome that looks rather like an escapee from some low-budget 60’s science fiction movie. With geometric openings causing patterns of light to bounce around the interior, I can almost see the likes of Matisse and Van Gogh turning in their graves.

No doubt, I am not the only one to see the irony of the whole situation, and as I discussed in “Cultural Oases in Abu Dhabi part one,’ the Guggenheim seems to have come to some arrangement whereby none of the works on display in their museum outpost will ‘offend local sensibilities,’ and I wonder if the Louvre has come to the same arrangement. If so, I have the same question to pose:’Dude, like what are you gonna hang on the wall, man?’

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Mukesh Ambani, the Indian magnate, came in for some flack recently as work started on his 173 meter tall, 27 storey, personal high rise in Mumbai.

No one ever said that having a lot of money assured you of good taste as well, and the only criticism I can offer is that maybe it wasn’t in the best possible taste to build this monument to wealth creation slap bang in a city littered with beggars, lepers and homeless people. I mean, for goodness’ sake, a man should be able to spend his money how he sees fit.

Rich people have built personal houses worth the equivalent of a small country’s income before, but most of them had the good sense to do it out of sight of the hoi poloi.

This particular palace will come complete with 6 floors for parking, 3 helipads, 1600 full time staff and views over the Arabian sea.

Work on ‘Antilla,’ is expected to be completed late 2008. Whether the finished product will be as attractive as the name suggests, remains to be seen. Antilla is a mythical island said to lie in the ocean west of Spain.

In the meantime, after exhaustive research I have collected some photos and information on other ‘most expensive’ houses around the world that the owner’s sensibly built in slightly more remote locations. They are in no particular order.

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London is supposed to be one of the most expensive cities in the world, but, having recently read a report on the cost of a parking space in Manhattan and reports of people paying upwards of £500 per month in Tokyo, I thought a comparison would be in order.

According to the New York times, this woman is cursing herself for not taking advantage of an opportunity to buy a parking space outside her loft apartment at $165,000 when she had the chance. A few months later, the spaces were changing hands for $225,000. Also according to The Times, the AVERAGE cost of a parking space is $165,000. Average.

London spaces have changed hands for as much as £250K but here are a few London bargains I found.

For the measly sum of £80,000 one can buy a garage on the Fulham Rd, SW6.

Craigslist also have a few bargains available, and this one jumps out. Considerably cheaper than the spot in Fulham. “I am selling my parking space in Whitechapel. It is on a private gated road next to the London Hospital. It is just outside the congestion charge zone so is very convenient for the City etc. It has been valued at £25K but I am keen to sell quickly.”

Sounds like a bargain to me. Although they might consider the use of an Estate agent to jazz the sales pitch up a little. “Bizou parking space in sought after neighborhood. Minimalist black, with no yellow in sight. Handy lack of walls makes for easy car positioning. Good renovation project. Might suit a young couple with small family.”?

A Million Dollars. It certainly sounds like a lot of money. Just say it out loud: “A Million Dollars,” now say it slowly, “A Million Dollars.” It still sounds like a lot of money, but what will a million dollars buy in London, Europe or Africa or South America? As I began researching this article, the phrase, “One man”s meat is another man’s poison,” came to mind. Obviously, some countries vary widely from area to area, but here are some interesting properties for sale from around the world that all have the same price tag ” A Million Bucks.

London. In London, one million bucks will secure a 3 bedroom flat in W6, a short walk from Hammersmith Broadway. This particular flat is offered by Foxtons and comprises one reception room, kitchen, three beds and one bath over 87 m sq. Leasehold with a share of the freehold.

524px-southeast_asia.jpgSoutheast Asia consists of two geographic regions: the Asian mainland, and island arcs and archipelagoes to the east and southeast. The mainland section consists of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam; the population of which are primarily Tai and Austroasiatic peoples. The dominant religion is Buddhism, followed by Islam. The maritime section consists of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. The dominant religion is Islam followed by Christianity.

South East Asia is making great efforts to bring the region in line with other more well developed property markets, but there are still some anomalies to take into consideration when buying a villa in the area.

Under Indonesian law, only Indonesian private citizens, not companies, are allowed to own the freehold rights to land. Indonesian companies and foreign individuals are entitled to leaseholds, rights of use, rights of exploitation and rights to build.

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Check out – The official website of the World Dubai

From Wikipedia

The World is a man-made archipelago of 300 islands constructed in the shape of a world map and located 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The World is one of several artificial island projects being constructed in Dubai, others being the Palm Islands. Like the other artificial island projects, The World is built primarily using sand dredged from the sea. It was developed by Nakheel Properties and was originally conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.

Each island in the archipelago ranges from about 14,000 m² (150,000 square feet) to 42,000 M² (450,000 square feet). The distance between each island will be an average of 100 metres (328 feet). The entire development covers an area of 9 km in length and 6 km in width, surrounded by an oval breakwater. Roughly 232 km (144 miles) of shoreline has been created. The overall development cost of The World was estimated as 14 billion USD. As for the individual islands, prices range between 15 and 50 million USD. One island is still for sale at a price of 250 million USD.

The project was unveiled on 6 May 2003 by Sheikh Mohammed. Dredging began four months later in September 2003. By January 2008, 60% of the islands had been sold, 20 of which were bought in the first four months of 2007. On 10 January 2008, the final stone on the breakwater was laid, completing initial development. The next phase of the project is to hand over the individual islands to developers.

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Every year, the World Bank produces a report on the ease of doing business in 178 countries, ranking them from 1 to 178. The World Bank uses several criteria to determine the rankings, but factors taken into consideration include the ease of hiring employees, the ease of starting a new venture to the ease of putting a company into bankruptcy.

Doing Business 2008 - World BankSingapore tops the list as the number one place to start and run a business in the world, closely followed by New Zealand and the USA. The factors that helped Singapore to this slot are “Employing workers” and “Trading across borders.” Although, having recently discovered that the famous Raffles “Singapore Sling” cocktails are now automatically dispensed by a machine rather than hand made, I feel the position is unwarranted. What is the world coming to? Personally, I feel at least one of the criteria should be, “best cocktails.”

Perhaps more interesting to property investors is the top reformers report. Singapore has already been through a major property value upswing, whereas changes in the tax and property laws in places like Egypt and China will likely create a more investor-friendly environment.