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Financial Times: Bahrain Land Deals Highlight Alchemy Of Making Money From Sand

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Rising out from the sea on the Manama shore is a new Four Seasons hotel, a 68 storey skyscraper on an exclusive private island. Scheduled to open early next year, it will be home to three restaurants run by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and will offer a range of luxurious amenities.

The imposing structure is part of Bahrain Bay, a $2.5bn development that juts out on to what previously was an expanse of water.

For the developers it is part of an ambitious vision for 21st century Bahrain. For activists, it is a symbol of inequality in a country marred by human rights violations and sectarian strife, where an acute housing shortage persists even as exclusive developments multiply.

Bahrain Bay is just one of many large projects on reclaimed land that dot the arid coastline of this tiny, densely populated archipelago. But the way this land was acquired has focused questions on the contested line between public and royal land ownership.

Read the full article here: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/b6d081a2-74b8-11e4-8321-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3LxiYWSZb

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