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UAE developer adds residences to RAK tourism sector

Aldar RAK Aldar
UAE's Aldar Properties is to build 2,000 residences on RAK's Al Marjan Island
  • Aldar Properties adds 2,000 homes to its Ras Al Khaimah growth plan
  • Al Marjan Island plays key role in RAK’s tourism strategy
  • Hotel plans at destination include Las Vegas’s Wynn Resorts 

Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties has acquired prime beachfront land on Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) to build its first residential development in the northern emirate. 

Set to launch in 2023, the development will include 2,000 branded and premium homes on a plot of over 40,000 square metres, plus retail spaces and a beach club. 

Aldar bought the land from RAK developer Marjan. It combines with its $220 million acquisition earlier this year of the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort and Spa Marjan Island to form a mixed-used community overlooking the Arabian Sea.

These deals in turn ramp up Aldar’s growth strategy in RAK following its acquisitions of Al Hamra Mall and Rixos Bab Al Bahr, the beach property bought for $210 million.

“Ras Al Khaimah continues to represent an attractive market, driven by the emirate’s demographics, strong market fundamentals and dynamics,” Talal Al Dhiyebi, group CEO of Aldar Properties, said.

“Its appeal as an investment and living destination continues to grow, benefiting from the return of leisure travel and the continued efforts of the emirate to attract investment, residents and visitors. 

“With this new land deal and our recent acquisitions we are excited about Aldar’s growth potential in the market.”

Jonathan Emery, CEO of Aldar Development, added: “This acquisition provides an opportunity to add to Al Marjan Island’s appeal as a lifestyle destination, and it will be our first residential development outside of our home emirate.”

Abdulla Al Abdouli, CEO of Marjan, said: “Al Marjan Island continues to attract interest from leading regional and international investors and operators. ​

“Our role is to deliver the long-term vision to establish Ras Al Khaimah as one of the region’s preferred lifestyle and investment hubs.

“Aldar’s first residential project in is a reflection of its trust in Al Marjan Island as a destination.”

DoubleTress Resort RAK
Aldar bought DoubleTree by Hilton Resort and Spa Marjan Island in RAK earlier this year

Al Marjan Island has more than 3,000 hotel rooms, with operators including Movenpick as well as Rixos Bab Al Bahr Hotel and DoubleTree by Hilton Resort.

Las Vegas’s Wynn Resorts will build a multibillion-dollar resort complex on Marjan Island, which will be completed by 2026 and feature more than 1,000 rooms, a shopping mall, conference facilities, spa and over 10 restaurants and lounges, plus what it referred to as a “gaming area”. 

This wording sparked speculation that the casino owner would have Las Vegas-style gambling facilities at the complex in RAK, one of seven emirates in the UAE, a country where gambling is banned. 

Al Marjan Island is in fact a group of four small isles – Breeze Island, Treasure Island, Dream Island and View Island – with beaches stretching over 7.8km and a 23km waterfront.

Al Marjan plays a key role in the strategy of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, which aims to add 4,617 hotel rooms over the next five years – an increase of 56.8 percent.