[QODLink]
Football
A Real special UAE holiday
Real Madrid hope to strengthen presence in Middle East by unveiling plans to open a branded holiday resort in the UAE.
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2012 19:00
Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho contemplates whether to visit Real Madrid Resort Island during peak season [GETTY]

For those dreading the end of the football season, it looks like there will be soon be a remedy to cure those months without the beautiful game.

If the football break is too much for you why not take a break that is built around your sporting passion.

It sounds like a great idea - if you have a dollar or two to spend that is.

The big business of football is once again spreading its financial muscle, this time muscling into the tourism industry. 

On Thursday, nine-times European champions Real Madrid unveiled plans to open a branded holiday resort in the United Arab Emirates in January 2015.

'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 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.

"It is a decisive and strategic step that will strengthen our institution in the Middle East and Asia," said Real president Florentino Perez.

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.

Football-branded hotels... surely it is only a matter of time before we board the Manchester United express to visit Barcelona's nou camp-site.  

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.