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Abu Dhabi hotel group to build $272m resort in Ras Al Khaimah

Al Marjan Island
There are 3,000-plus hotel rooms on Al Marjan Island from operators such as Hilton and Rixos
  • Abu Dhabi National Hotels to develop 1,000 rooms on Al Marjan
  • Island plays a key role in the emirate’s tourism strategy
  • Ras Al Khaimah reported a 21% increase in visitors in first half of 2022

Abu Dhabi National Hotels is to build an AED1 billion ($272 million) luxury resort on a prime plot in Ras Al Khaimah, it said on Tuesday.

The 1,000-room property will be on Al Marjan Island, where several international operators have opened hotels in recent years.

Marjan is master developer for Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates in the UAE. Its CEO Abdullah Al Abdooli said: “Marjan continues to establish high-end projects in the hospitality, leisure and sports sectors to support the destination strategy of the emirate.

“The investment by ADNH to develop a luxury resort in Al Marjan Island reflects its confidence in the potential of the destination and will catalyse additional investments.”

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

It 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.

At least 1,000 rooms will come from the resort being developed by Las Vegas hotelier Wynn. Its project, set for completion in 2026, will have a shopping mall, spa and convention facility – and could also include the UAE’s first casino, described in the plans as “a gaming area”.

In the first half of 2022, the latest figures available, Ras Al Khaimah had 521,085 international and domestic visitors, an increase of 21 percent compared to the first half of 2021 and a return to pre-COVID figures.

The RAKTDA CEO Raki Phillips said Ras Al Khaimah was on track to reach more than 1.11 million arrivals by the end of the year and to complete its return to pre-pandemic levels within two years.

The emirate wants to triple the number of tourists it attracts to 3 million a year by the end of the decade.

The tourism authority has recently announced a series of partnerships with airlines and tour operators to target emerging and growing source markets. This includes new direct flights from major cities in Germany, such as Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Munich. The emirate is also redeveloping its airport.

The RAKTDA is working with the cruise sector too, with the aim of attracting 50 ship calls each season and over 10,000 passengers within the next few years.

Sheikh Ahmed Aldhaheri, vice-chairman and managing director of Abu Dhabi National Hotels, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to expand and position into other emirates. Our strong belief in the potential, economy and leadership of the UAE was the main catalyst of this investment.”

Khalid Anib, CEO of Abu Dhabi National Hotels, added: “We are confident that our investment in Ras Al Khaimah will create strong returns to our shareholders and enhance UAE as a leading travel and hospitality destination. This luxury resort will complement our existing portfolio across Abu Dhabi and Dubai.”

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