Sheikh Writes His Name in the Sand, Big Enough to Be Seen from Space

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Screeengrab / Google Earth

The inscription is visible from space.

Ah, the sands of narcissism.

An Abu Dhabi oil sheikh has written his name in the sand. (Well, his laborers did the etching.)

Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, had “Hamad” carved out in capital letters on an island he owns in the United Arab Emirates called Al Futaisi. (We get it, Hamad, it’s yours.) The name, which stretches for more than two miles across, is visible from space. Two letters are filled with water because the tip of the first letter hits the straight that leads to the Arabian Gulf. Meaning, the inscription has resulted in man-made waterways.

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What explains the peculiar actions of the 63-year-old scion?

“Think of it as economic stimulus,” wrote Christopher Helman of Forbes. “It took a lot of imported laborers from the likes of Pakistan and Bangladesh to dig those canals. And for all we know, this could be part of a grand tourism plan.”

“Hamad has shown a penchant for excess in the past,” Helman continues, referring to the billionaire’s 200 cars, including seven Mercedes 500 SELs painted in the colors of the rainbow.