Robinson-Feeling for the Emir

Is there any link between David Copperfield, Johnny Depp and Hamad al-Thani, the emir of Qatar? They all attach value to the isolation of their holiday residences. To ensure a quiet rest they have made a safe choice: They did not only buy real estate properties, they purchased complete islands.

Many people are unconscious of it, but lots of islands around the globe are in private ownership. And sometimes there is a resale. In countries like Sweden or Canada where they have thousands of islands, one is quite familiar with private islands. The German broker Farhad Vladi has specialized in islands since decades and could sucessfully sell more than 2.000 to private enjoyers. His illustrated book „The World of Private Islands“ shows nice impressions around the globe and invites for dreaming.

Maybe that even Hamad al-Thani has recently taken a look inside. From Greece at least we hear, that Oxia, an island of little more than four square kilometers has been sold to Qatarian investors. Various media report a matching purchase price of five million Euros and suspect the emir or members of his family behind the deal. An official of the council from the mainland of Ithaka confirmed the transaction, but did not verify any grantee personally.

Oxia is unoccupied, mountainous and covered with an intensive green vegetation, with lots of stone pines among. There are nice sheltered bays, possibly suitable for fish-farming pools which can be seen on photos. It’s just the right place to steer for with a luxury cruiser, to stretch out ones hammock and to relax like Robinson Crusoe. On the other hand it’s close enough to civilization; from the southern tip one can watch the ferries traffic to Patra. Compared to „The Pearl“, an artificial peninsula world north of Doha, where it throbs with life and luxury, Oxia is indeed a contrast.

At present the Greek islands offer some real bargains. Against the background of the financial crisis, there are numerous offers, among them absolute showpieces in the Ionian Sea. Lots have been in family ownership for centuries. But owners are burdened with property taxes every year. Some politicians hope, that the sale of island assets can even give momentum to the weak Greek economy, but others classify it as a harebrained idea.

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