James Gandolfini, the burly actor best known for his Emmy-winning portrayal of a conflicted New Jersey mob boss in the acclaimed HBO cable television series "The Sopranos," died on Wednesday while vacationing in Rome, the network said. Full Article
Actor Brad Pitt to help design hotel in Dubai
DUBAI (Reuters Life!) - Actor Brad Pitt will be part of a team of consultants appointed to design a new five-star hotel and leisure development in Dubai, developer Zabeel Properties said on Monday.
Pitt is the latest Western celebrity whose name will feature in Dubai's booming luxury property sector, after another developer launched projects carrying the names of sports icons Boris Becker, Michael Schumacher and Niki Lauda.
Pitt will be part of a team of consultants from Los Angeles-based architecture firm GRAFT which will be tasked with designing the 800-room hotel, Zabeel Properties said in a statement, without giving the project's costs or construction dates.
In December, Pitt said he wanted to build 150 environmentally friendly homes for families displaced by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.
The hotel will add to Zabeel Properties property portfolio which includes residential, commercial and hospitality developments worth around $5 billion, the company said.
Dubai, a city of sky scrapers and mega-developments such as man-made islands, is the Gulf's tourism and trading hub. Its real estate sector has boomed since the United Arab Emirates member allowed foreigners to invest in property in 2002.
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