Spanish football club Real Madrid have laid the foundation stone for a $1bn resort island in the United Arab Emirates.
The proposed resort will be built on an artificial island off the coast of the northern emirate of Ras al-Khaimah.
Real Madrid Resort Island chief executive Louis-Armand de Rouge said: "The only problem we might face is selecting investors, not so much about whether we have the money to make it, but who will participate, because there are already heaps of people that want to buy most of it."
Designed by French architect J+H Boiffils, the island will be shaped like Real Madrid’s logo.
The 50ha resort will house a theme park, a 10,000-seat half-moon stadium facing towards the sea, a sports port, luxury hotels and a yachting marina.The island will also feature a Real Madrid club museum, water sports facilities, a shopping centre and residential areas with 60 bungalows and 48 villas.
Sports facilities will include training pitches, swimming pools, a sports clinic and indoor sports arenas including basketball courts. The resort’s 12ha amusement park will feature a roller coaster, submarine circuits, a tower and a helipad. The proposed resort is scheduled to open in 2015 and the developers believe the island resort will attract one million visitors a year.
Image: The laying ceremony was attended by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Emir of Ras al-Khaimah. Photo: courtesy of Real Madrid.