UAE-based property developer, Reem Developers, have transferred an 800 year old olive tree from Lebanon to Abu Dhabi to sit at the center of their Rawdhat residential development:

The olive tree, originating from Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast, has been planted at Rawdhat, located beside the Old Airport Road , overlooking the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Reem Developers said.

“We wanted the centerpiece to be something unique and chose the olive tree because of its character and historic significance,” said Ho Kiam Kheong, Chief Development Officer of Reem Developers, master developer of Rawdhat and the real estate arm of Reem Investments.

Although the infrastructure work (roads, power, pipes) in that area have been completed, the development is still very much a desert. I’m pretty sure the water bills to keep the tree alive would be substantial.

Comments left behind on the Gulf News website seem to show dissatisfaction with the move.

Why should they bring this tree and remove it from its original habitat? Is it only for prestige or new record? How could Lebanon allowed the tree to leave the country? would it possible it is the only 800s years old tree left in Lebanon?

James, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

It’s a shame to waste the life of such a tree just because someone thinks it’s a nice piece of furniture.

Anonymous, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Curious to know how one goes about procuring a multi-century old tree from Lebanon. Wonder who the tree belonged to?