Group of Irish businessmen buy 'England'
The island of 'England' has been bought by the Irish.
A group of Irish investors have purchased the island in Dubai to the consternation of a number of potential English buyers.
The island is among a large number of artificial islands created in the shape of different countries in a massive development called The World.
The makers of the islands have been selling off the islands as holiday and leisure sites that have the advantage of having the almost constant sunshine of the Gulf states.
Richard Branson planted the union jack flag on the island as part of a publicity gimmick and singer Rod Stewart was rumoured to have bought the 11-acre island.
But a group of investors from Galway, headed by developer John O'Dolan, have confirmed they bought 'England' for €23.5m. The investors, mostly solicitors, barristers and accountants, paid more than €2m each for their own sections of the island.
They plan to market the island as 'Greater Britain' and plan to put it on the market as a holiday investment.
Mr O'Dolan is also involved in the development of the island named 'Ireland' in the artificial archipelago.
"We've been asked if we're going to join the two islands together," joked Mr O'Dolan.
Villas built on the island of Ireland are for sale from €850,000 to €3m.