Hamad in the Sand – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Atlas Obscura
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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Hamad in the Sand

Billionaire's mark on the earth. 

Sorry, Hamad in the Sand is permanently closed.

When hundreds of luxury cars, custom-made mega trucks and a personal island are not enough to flaunt your wealth, where do you turn? Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan decided to throw a little money around and carve his name into a beach on his private island Futaisi.

Futaisi already has its own resort and golf course, but the massive carving of “Hamad,” in the sand will certainly put the island on the map. Al Nahyan, a member of the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates conceived the idea and hired workers from Pakistan and Bangladesh to complete the project, which finished 1000-meter high letters stretching along two miles of beach on the Arabian Gulf.

To ensure that the carving did not wash away with the tides, Al Nahyan ensured that the letters were dug deep enough to form waterways, in effect absorbing the water instead of caving in on itself. Written straight block lettering, the giant “Hamad,” is so large and deep that it can even be seen from space. Many people who have seen the carving have asked why the name was written in English without the swoops of Arabic. Although unclear, it seems Al Nahyan wanted as much global appeal and fame as possible.

If this controversial show of wealth is not the biggest written word in the world, it is definitely the biggest name carved into the earth and certainly classifies a bizarre accomplishment.

Update: The writing was “deleted” in 2012.

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