Nine-times European champions Real Madrid have unveiled plans to open a branded holiday resort in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to open in January 2015. Jose Mourinho, together with former captain Zidane Zinedine, Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos helped unveil the project.
‘Real Madrid Resort Island’ is a $1 billion dollar venture with the RAK Marjan Island Football Investment Fund and the government of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, developed under the club’s brand.
No further financial details were given.
A presentation at the Bernabeu on Thursday showed plans for sports facilities, a marina, luxury hotels and villas, an amusement park, a club museum and a 10,000-seat stadium with one side open to the sea.
The 430,000-square metre leisure facility is expected to attract around one million visitors in 2015.
Real said the artificial island’s location put it equidistant between Europe and the Far East, adding that more than half of their estimated 300 million followers were based in Asia.
Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid, said: “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. 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 2,000 million people.”
He added: “This is a decisive and strategic step that will enhance the strength of this institution in the Middle East and Asia, a key region in which the passion for this club has been apparent. Our collaboration grows increasingly stronger and we are proud of it. Real Madrid and the government of Ras Al Khaimah want to transmit the passion of Real Madrid and what it means throughout the world.”