Real Madrid football club will spend $1 billion to build a lavish resort island in the United Arab Emirates, complete with luxury hotels, marina and amusement park.
Executives unveiled plans for the “Real Madrid Resort Island”, featuring an oceanside stadium and hi-tech club museum in the northern Emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah, on the doorstep of the lucrative football-mad Asian market.
“Real Madrid Resort Island will be a major tourist and sporting centre of great dimensions and the highest level,” club president Florentino Perez said.
“This is a decisive and strategic step which contributes to strengthening our institution in the Middle East and Asia,” Perez said. “Real Madrid will be present permanently in a key region of the world.”
The complex, with $1 billion of investment and backed by the government of the Emirate, is scheduled to open in January 2015, the club and executives said.
It will include a five-star hotel, beachside bungalows and an amusement park with a rollercoaster and hologram show recreating Real Madrid’s goals.
Sports facilities will include training pitches and swimming pools plus a marina for yachting, as well as the 10,000-seat football stadium open on one side to a view of the sea.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.