Real Madrid to open $1bn theme park, resort in UAE

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Photograph: Handout/AFP/Getty Images

Spanish footballing giant Real Madrid has picked up Ras Al Khaimah as the site for a branded theme park worth $1bn.

Real Madrid and the Government of Ras al-Khaimah presented the Real Madrid Resort Island in the Presidential Balcony of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The 50-hectare project will hold a theme park, the first stadium open to the sea, a Real Madrid museum, numerous sports facilities, a sport port, a residential area and luxury hotels.

“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,” club president Florentino Perez told newsmen during the ceremony.

“Once again, the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium serves as the starting point of a thrilling project. The world of sports and Real Madrid again prove to have no boundaries and that football is a fantastic tool with which to make different people and cultures come together. This team’s fans are passionate wherever they may be and never give up. Their dreams motivate us on a daily basis,” he added.

Real Madrid’s official website said the resort is scheduled to be open in January 2015.

“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,” the club president claimed.

A massive vote of confidence for tourism-oriented policies of the Ras Al Khaimah government, it will be the first theme park on an artificial island to combine tourism and sports, and the first ever recreational tourism complex built under the Real Madrid trademark.

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