The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, celebrates triumph over Greek bureaucracy after gaining planning permission to develop a dream home on the private island of Oxia.
The first foreign investor to successfully buy a Greek island since the end of the Second World War, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, can this week breathe a sigh of relief after overcoming the final bureaucratic hurdle, thus allowing him to develop a palatial-sized property on his latest acquisition – the recently-purchased Island of Oxia.
After overcoming the countless archaic laws and an endless list of tedious local, federal and religious regulations which have driven many a would-be Robinson Crusoe to despair, it would be easy to assume that the next stage of realising the royal private island paradise would be plain sailing. Unbeknownst to Sheikh al Thani, however, the next problems were already looming on the horizon.
Rather than simplifying matters, the actual purchase of the Oxia only served to open up another level of Byzantine bureaucracy. As Private Island News reported in March, Greek property law states that regardless of the size of your plot of land, property sizes cannot exceed 250 m² – quite a problem for a blue-blooded Sheikh accustomed to residences on a considerably grander scale.
Fortunately for the oil-rich Emir, however, reports this week have confirmed that his dream of an Ionian idyll will come true sooner rather than later. Indeed, it seems that money talks in these parts, with the promise of further investments putting paid to any more inconvenient paperwork and signalling the start of what promises to be an ambitious development on the island.