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Tue 30 Jul 2019 11:21 AM

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Where are they now? Abu Dhabi's Pamela Anderson eco-hotel

Baywatch actress saw her plans for an environmentally friendly hotel hit by the global recession

Where are they now? Abu Dhabi's Pamela Anderson eco-hotel
Actress Pamela Anderson attends a photo call in Sydney on August 26 2008. (Photo by Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images)

As part of our ongoing summer series, we will be looking back at some of the most colourful and extraordinary proposals pitched in the UAE and the wider Gulf and investigating what happened to them.

In the last few weeks, we have looked at plans for an underwater tennis stadium pitched by a Polish architect, Hollywood actor Brad Pitt’s ideas for a series of environmentally-friendly projects, a Swedish firm’s designs for a moving statue, a Chinese team’s ambitions for a technologically advanced neighbourhood in the shape of a globe and a Hong Kong designer’s vision of a heart-shaped water park containing the world’s highest water slide.

We also looked at a former president of the Russian republic of Kalmykia’s dream of a city with towers shaped like a chessboard, plans for an underwater TV studio and a crystal ball-shaped football museum in time for the 2022 World Cup, a tower in Abu Dhabi with a futuristic exterior that changes with the surrounding environment, a theme park in Dubai dedicated to the classic Herbie movie franchise, a tower named after Formula One driver Michael Schumacher and a entertainment village in Bahrain themed around the Smurfs.

Today, we are looking at a proposal for an eco-friendly hotel involving Pamela Anderson.

The 52 year-old Canadian-American sex symbol was famous in the 90s for appearing multiple times in the cover of Playboy magazine and staring as lifeguard CJ Parker in the hit TV show Baywatch.

While the actress did appear in one season of the hit sitcom Home Improvements in 1991, she does seem like an unlikely partner for a real estate project.

Greek hideaway

Her connection to property developments in the United Arab Emirates started in early 2007 when her ex-husband, Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, told a tabloid newspaper he was planning to buy his former wife an island on The World project, an archipelago of manmade islands in the shape of a globe off the coast of Dubai.

"I've been doing a lot of research on Dubai property and The World project," Lee was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror newspaper while in Dubai to compere an event. "We're going to buy Greece because I'm Greek originally. Pammie actually turned me on to the whole thing. Life is good now because I'm seeing my boys again."

However, the rumours were quickly denied by Nakheel, the developer of The World, who told Arabian Business at the time that the island of Greece had not yet been sold and that there had been no contact with Lee or Anderson.

The following year it was reported Anderson had started dating a wealthy prominent figure based in Abu Dhabi and this had spurred her interest in developing an environmentally friendly hotel in the UAE capital.

"I'm building a hotel there. It is environmentally friendly. I went there with the Make a Wish Foundation and met some great people there,” she was quoted as saying in August 2008.

"It's built with no fossil fuel at all... in Abu Dhabi - where they have all that oil,” she added.

The UAE was a popular haven at the time for celebrities looking to put their names and skills to real estate projects, with actor Brad Pitt, Formula One driver Michael Schumacher and tennis champion Boris Becker all adding their backing to various tower projects.

Sammy the whale shark

Anderson’s connections with the UAE continued and she used her links to animal rights campaign organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to lobby for The Atlantis Hotel, The Palm to release Sammy the whale shark from its aquarium at the Palm Jumeirah hotel.

“Every time I travel, I use it for animal rights. There are specific things in the Middle East I want to talk about,” she said.

Fast forward to 2013 and while on another trip to the UAE, this time for the opening of the VIP Room nightclub, she confirmed that plans for her hotel has been scrapped in the midst of the global financial crisis.

“We were planning on it but it fell apart due to the recession in America and here. It just didn’t happen, I would love to do that. I am really sad that it didn’t happen and I really want to do it,” she told Gulf News.

Coming up tomorrow: Dubai’s Universal Studios Theme Park

Check out the other projects in the series:

Dubai’s underwater tennis stadium

Brad Pitt's eco-friendly Dubai projects

Dubai's moving statue

The Technosphere 

Dubai Heart Water Park Resort

The International Chess City

Underwater World Cup TV studio

Abu Dhabi’s Bionic Tower

The Crystal Ball Museum

The Herbie Theme Park

The Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower (below)

Bahrain’s Smurf Village

Are there any projects from the past you would like Arabian Business to investigate? Contact us with your suggestions at shane.mcginley@itp.com

For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.