Dubai property developers' habit of linking their projects with famous people has not been diminished by the global financial crisis, with the most recent signing involving the late tenor Luciano Pavarotti. In a deal agreed late last year with Pavarotti's widow, Nicoletta Mantovani, the Italian property firm Ellebiemme Immobili di Presitigio plans to build The Pavarotti Tower in partnership with New World Investment, a developer registered in Dubai.
The residential and commercial building will be built on Palm Jebel Ali, one of three reclaimed islands being developed by Nakheel, with construction expected to begin in September. "The idea and the initiative were suggested by the partners of Ellebiemme Immobili di Prestigio, who wanted to pay homage to the Italian tenor by dedicating the tower to him," said Thomas Paoletti, a lawyer with Studio Paoletti, a law firm based in Italy and representing Ellebiemme. "His widow agreed to authorise the use of his name."
Mr Paoletti said the formalities to use Pavarotti's name were continuing, but sales in the tower had already begun. He said it was not possible to give a value for the project, as that would depend on the reaction of the market. The tower, to be completed in Dec 2011, will include the Pavarotti Gallery, where recordings of the tenor's voice will be played in a museum dedicated to his life. Items that belonged to Pavarotti have been donated by Ms Mantovani.
Each floor will be dedicated to one of the operas performed by Pavarotti, such as Aida and Rigoletto, while the interior will be designed by the Italian architect Ettore Mocchetti and will reflect the story and theme of each opera. The project would also have its own private beach and a restaurant run by a renowned Italian chef, Mr Paoletti said. "The developers have no doubt that this project, the idea for which has been in the pipeline for some time, will be successful despite the current economic situation," he said.
"One of the main reasons for developing this project was to highlight the image of Italy while focusing on a name which represents the country's standards of excellence, and which could in turn attract the interest of well known professionals to be associated in the development of this project, such as architect Ettore Mocchetti." Pavarotti died in Sept 2007, aged 71. His career spanned more than 40 years.
He became famous beyond the world of opera at the 1990 football World Cup in Italy, where he performed Puccini's Nessun Dorma from Turandot, and with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras as The Three Tenors in a concert held on the eve of the tournament's final game. Other well-known names associated with property in Dubai include tennis star Boris Becker and Formula One racing drivers Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher. Each has endorsed buildings being developed by ACI, a developer based in Germany.
The champion golfers Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia have also lent their names to various golf-related developments in the emirate. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org