Soccer is truly a global game that has hard core fans across the world. The soccer world cup has the largest television viewership with viewers sitting in front of their televisions during matches from all time zones. Naturally, the money involved in the game is phenomenal and even the important soccer clubs have large budgets and generate huge revenues through multiple streams. The stars of the game receive massive paychecks and the clubs go out of their way to look after their whims and fancies. The Spanish soccer club Real Madrid plans to invest almost $ 1 billion to create an island resort in one of the Emirates of UAE. The Emirates, led by Dubai has created several artificial islands and this proposed development by Real Madrid will be located on one of them off the coast of the sleepy northern Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah which is not as well known as some of the seven states like Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
It is an ambitious project and the island resort, when completed will include a theme park, yacht club and marina. All these amenities and facilities will be built around a 450 room super deluxe hotel. And since a prominent soccer club is behind the project, the resort complex will also have 10,000-capacity stadium which will face onto the sea. The resort will be spread over an area of 50 hectares. After the development is complete as per plan, the resort is expected to receive about one million guests in the very first year of business. This is a purely business decision for Real Madrid and will open another revenue stream for the club. Real Madrid boasts of a 300 million strong fan base which is almost equally divided between Europe and Asia. UAE is situated right in between Europe and Asia and is accessible by air very conveniently from across the world and the region has grown into becoming a convenient and preferred holiday destination, particularly for those who love the sun and the beach.
Florentino Perez, the president of the club was at the site to make all the announcement regarding the upcoming project. He is confident that the resort will develop into a platform where people from different nationalities can come together through their fascination for sport, for football and for Real Madrid. This is the first time that any club has invested in a tourism complex under its own brand name. It has given birth to a new concept of sportainment.
Louis-Armand de Rouge, chief executive of the Real Madrid Resort Island was overwhelmed by the support the project is getting. Apart from the Ras al-Khaimah government, a large number of investors want to be part of the project and it will be a difficult task to filter the aspirants and prepare the final list of participants. The nine-time European soccer champions Real are as confident as they are in the football field. They believe it will be a profitable project and will achieve break even in the first three years of business. They are confident of their brand value and will leverage it to address their substantial fan base. It is good news for the entire region as UAE has suffered considerably as a result of the global financial crisis. Real Madrid hopes they can set an example of fair play and kick start a new trend for the region.