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Sun 25 Mar 2012 08:55 AM

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RAK to host US$1bn Real Madrid theme park

Spanish football giant to base 50-hectare site on emirate's Marjan resort island, due to open in 2015

RAK to host US$1bn Real Madrid theme park
European footballing giant Real Madrid has chosen Ras Al Khaimah’s Marjan Island as the site for a branded theme park worth US$1bn.
RAK to host US$1bn Real Madrid theme park
Real Madrid players with UAE ambassador Hissa Abdullah Ahmed Al-Otaiba.

European footballing giant Real Madrid has chosen Ras Al Khaimah’s Marjan Island as the site for a branded theme park worth US$1bn.

The 50-hectare ‘Real Madrid Resort Island’ will feature a theme park, a stadium and a museum dedicated to the Spanish side, as well as sports facilities and a ‘sport port’, alongside residential and luxury hotel facilities.

The resort is scheduled to be open in January 2015, according to a statement posted on the Real Madrid website.

"When the Real Madrid Resort Island opens its gates, visitors will become part of the legend of this club, which strives to be eternal and universal,” club president Florentino Perez said.

“We adhere our name and potential to a unique location, a strategic meeting place and a project of unprecedented dimension located less than four hours away by flight of 2,000m people.”

The resort will be the first tourism complex built under the Real Madrid trademark.

The news is a coup for Ras Al Khaimah, which sees tourism as a vital contributor to its GDP. In November last year, the emirate set up the Ras Al Khaimah Hospitality Group, which will aim to help achieve the target of having 10,000 hotel rooms by 2016.

Waldorf Astoria will open a location on Al Marjan Island - the emirate’s first reclaimed island - in October 2012, while the Baba Al Bahr Beach Resort will also open this year.

Hilton Worldwide will add Ras Al Khaimah’s second Doubletree resort to Al Marjan by the beginning of 2014. 

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Anonymous 7 years ago

Is it 2007 again??? Why not a Man United moon base? How about a Barcelona hotel in the clouds? Or an AC Milan submarine to shuttle Sharjah residents to Dubai??? Do you hear my sarcasm???

misha 7 years ago

Bravo Madrid. Great investment.

Nony 7 years ago

Is this really Real Madrid putting up their own money to build this or are they simply being paid huge sums for allowing the developer to use their branding rights (eg Armani Hotel or Tiger Woods developments in Dubai)? If the latter (as is more likely), is there any indication where this USD 1bn is coming from?

JKC 7 years ago

To correct you, Armani hotel is actually a mutual partnership where Armani designers will handle the interiors while Emaar handles construction and The Address (owned by Emaar) manages the business. While, Tiger Woods, yes you are right - they are just name usage rights.

Anonymous 7 years ago

To JKC...even though Armani handles the decorating responsibilities, I believe Emaar is writing the checks. It is their investment, their money, not Armani's.

Nony 7 years ago

I accept that Armani is technically a form of Joint Venture, but my point is that even so Armani are not really putting up their own MONEY - just time, effort ans the use of branding rights. Just like Real Madrid, I guess.

Doug 7 years ago

I'd be extremely dubious of the safety of a theme park and stadium built in just over two years. No way will this be open in January 2015.

Yunus 7 years ago

Such a waste of money...be original now is the time to develop home grown brands...indigenous to this region in order increase thrill seekers who want to hear, feel, touch, bottle the Arabian atomsphere not some Real madrid football team theme park.

Theres such talented people in this region who can develop far better reasons for us to travel to RAK other than this option believe me. This smacks of desperateness with very little research , A very easy option at chucking money at.

John 7 years ago

Far from putting up their own money, Armani is being PAID for all the designs, consulting and brand use and even though the entire project is likely to be losing millions, the Italians will still be in the clover. They are exploiting the Gulf's fawning need for class and status, which they haven't realised cannot be bought.

Abdulla 7 years ago

Thanks for your comment Yanus, but which money are wasted?
I can guarantee you that RAK Gov has not spent 1 Dhs in this project, and where are the home grown or old brands from developing and encouraging the investments in their sister emirate?? whereas they are still criticizing and not even giving a credit to the government who attracted such a great investors!
The spanish and the world media are putting this project on their front pages while we are still blaming and criticizing!!
The talented people are who have made this project real and happened...Lots of firms and governments have invested millions and millions to have their names on the corners of Real Madrid stadium while they are coming to put their own money in our land....and we still call it a bad investment :)
Thanks