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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Meet the UAE Malayalee who owns 10 acres land on the moon!

  • Would he open a tea shop on the moon? "Well, why not?" He said.
A popular adage is that there is no place in the world without a Malayalee. So much so, an old joke goes that Neil Armstrong landed on the moon to find a Malayalee running a teashop there!So, when Ajman resident Manikandan Meloth was gifted 10 acres of land on the moon back in 2008, he came to be associated with the proverbial Malayalee pun. "It was something people always ask," Meloth, a business owner, told Khaleej Times. "Would I go to the moon and start a teashop?" laughed Meloth.

Meloth may be the first Keralite to own real estate on the moon and has a framed copy of his 'Lunar Deed' from the 'Lunar Embassy' proudly adorning on his office walls. His property - titled 'Area F-4, Quadrant Charlie' - is a 10-acre plot of land on the 'Lighted lunar surface'. The property is located three squares south and eight squares east of the extreme Northwest corner of the recognised lunar chart.

"I was not a space enthusiast before being gifted the land on the moon," said Meloth, adding, "A former supplier for my business happened to mention in passing that he could get me some land on the moon as a gift. I thought he was poking fun at me."

Later, he watched a documentary which explained that it is very much possible to buy land on the moon. Within a few weeks, with the help of the same supplier, Meloth became a partial owner of the moon.
Lunar real estate

Is the moon available for anyone to own, buy, or sell? According to the website moonestates.com, a declaration of ownership was filed with the United Nations as well as the US and Russian governments in 1980 by American national Dennis M. Hope of the Lunar Embassy, to ensure that a legal basis for the ownership of the properties sold on the moon can be claimed.

In 1980, the Lunar Embassy was born. Moonestates.com Ltd is authorised by the Lunar Embassy for the sale of extraterrestrial property, and all purchases are registered on their central database. The websites states that an excess of 6,011,311 space enthusiasts have become members of the organisation, making it one of the largest groups in the world.

Furthermore, Hope states that he has sold 611 million acres of land on the moon, 325 million acres on Mars, and a combined 125 million acres on Venus and Mercury, according to an interview on Vice.com.
Other, more famous, landowners on the moon include George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Nicole Kidman.

Ownership of land on the moon also gives its owner a copy of the 'Lunar Constitution Bill of Rights', which clearly declares "a resolve to hold a dual citizenship with mother planet Earth and the moon".
One acre of land on the moon (approximately 43,560 sq ft, or 4,047 sq metres) costs only USD37.50 (Dh137.5). But for Meloth, it's priceless. "It is not like you can do anything with the land. But you don't know what the future holds," he noted.

Meloth would like to visit the moon someday, once space tourism becomes a reality. Coming back to the initial question, would he indeed open a tea shop on the moon? "Well, why not? The current Indian Prime Minister started off selling tea, didn't he?" quipped Meloth.

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