Real sportainment in RAK

Spanish club Real Madrid will combine sports and entertainment when they open the world’s first ‘sportainment’ destination on the Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah in 2015.

By Adur Pradeep

Published: Fri 30 Mar 2012, 2:55 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:09 PM

The $1 billion Real Madrid Resort Island plans to have a 10,000-seat football stadium, sports clinic, museum, yacht club and resorts.

While unveiling the details at a press conference held on the site of the development on Al Marjan Island, His Highness Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, said the 50-hectare resort will be the flagship of the Al Marjan Development.

“We aim to attract one million visitors a year when it is completed in January 2015. We are enthusiastic about the potential of this venture,” he said.

The sports theme park project on the man-made island of 430,000 sq meters will include Real’s Attraction park which will be the world’s first football theme park.

The park will be at least 12 hectares and is being created for fans, families, and couples. It will feature a roller coaster, a water park, a submarine circuit, and a holographic football experience.

The one-sided beachfront football stadium would be one of the top attractions when the 430,000sqm project starts its operations in 2015. The stadium will be a half moon shape with the open end towards the sea. Florentino Pérez Rodríguez, president of Real Madrid said: “Just a few days ago, in Santiago Bernabeu’s stadium, we witnessed the exciting links we have established to make an extraordinary dream possible; a fascinating project that becomes a reality today.

“The Real Madrid Resort Island will boost our international development strategy. The travelling time to the island is less than three hours from India, only six or seven hours from Europe or China and Japan. This great sports and leisure resort will offer 50 acres that combine sport, health and entertainment.

“Here we’ll have an extraordinary stadium, several football fields, a sports clinic, etc.

Former France international Zinedine Zidane, who is now director of football at Real Madrid, and Emilio Butragueno were also present during the function.

Louis-Armand de Rouge, CEO of RAK Marjan Island Football, the entity behind the project, said: “Dubai is the fourth airport in the world with over 47 million passengers in 2010 and it stands 45 minutes away from the Real Madrid Resort Island. Around two billion people are within a four hour radius. Besides, football is the world’s most popular sport and Asia is the world’s fastest growing sports market,” he pointed out.

He also said Real Madrid has the highest global fan base in the world: 300 million, including 160 million in Asia.

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