David Beckham and Michael Owen are among 11 England footballers that have bought a holiday home on a palm tree-shaped island being built off the coast of Dubai, developers have confirmed.
Beckham may have left Manchester United for Real Madrid, but will still have former United teammates Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Wes Brown and Nicky Butt as neighbors when the billion-dollar resort is complete in two years time.
Players Wayne Bridge, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole, Kieron Dyer and David James have also signed contacts to buy luxury five-bedroom villas on the island, along with England goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence and physio Stephen Slattery.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of The Palm, said they have all bought on the first of two virtually identical islands being ‘reclaimed’ off Dubai’s exclusive Jumeirah coast.
The England squad held a warm-up camp in Dubai in May 2002 en route to the World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea and the players and staff were taken on a private visit to the Palm’s sales office and given a ‘virtual’ computer-simulated tour of what the islands will look like when complete.
The first of the two islands will be six kilometers long and 5.5 kilometers wide when complete, with restaurants, shops and apartments on the ‘trunk’, luxury villas on the ‘fronds’ and boutique hotels on the protective crescent-shaped barrier reefs, which surround them. The villas come with their own 130 foot private beach and swimming pool and buyers are able to choose from 28 architectural styles.
Construction of the first island, the Palm, Jumeirah, began in 2001 and is expected to be fully ‘reclaimed’ from the sea by the end of this year. Builders will then move in to construct the hotels, villas and apartments which are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2005.
The second island, being built further up the coast at Jebel Ali, began a year later and is due for completion in 2007. Each will be connected to the mainland by at least one 300-meter bridge. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )