RISING STAR

Ras Al Khaimah 2018 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | FOCUS: MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENTS

Affordability, accessibility, and luxurious amenities are the primary incentives for those considering Ras Al Khaimah as a destination and residential option.

The real estate sector continues to contribute to and benefit from the rapid growth of the tourism and business sectors in Ras Al Khaimah. Demand for hotel and residential real estate is fast rising in response to the rapid expansion of these critical sectors.

Ras Al Khaimah hopes to attract 1 million tourists by the end of 2018 while setting itself apart from neighboring Emirates as the adventure and leisure destination of choice in the UAE. The Emirate hopes to draw in visitors seeking the closeness to nature and adventure that set this Emirate apart through leisure-orientated beachfront villas, apartments, hotels, and resorts.
Further residential developments have also been necessitated by expanding opportunities for business and industry within Ras Al Khaimah's business-friendly and competitive market. To meet growing demand from tourists and residents, Ras Al Khaimah is home to many large-scale developments initiated in the last decade. These developments offer a variety of real estate options, constructing a range of mixed-use communities. They provide value-for-money luxury when compared to nearby Dubai, a mere 45 minutes away, and aim to immerse residents in a natural green environment unavailable in neighboring Emirates.
Mina Al Arab is one of these mixed-use developments spanning 2.8 sqmkm along 13km of the Emirate's coastline. It also consists of two artificial islands, Raha and Hayat, constructed as part of this expansive area. Once completed, the development will include 3,500 residential units, 388 villas, eight themed hotel resorts, and two eco-hotels.
In line with the Emirate's strategy of attracting eco-tourists and leisure seekers, Mina Al Arab boasts vast wetlands, parks, beaches, and coastal dunes as well as lush landscaping in and between the six districts of the development. Also, cafes, restaurants, recreational facilities, shopping mall, Arabian souk, and docking area will be built to meet the needs of the community.
Construction on Mina Al Arab broke ground in 2006, but it has not been without challenge. The project slowed down dramatically in 2009 in response to the global financial crisis putting more than AED1 billion of project investment on hold. In 2015, low oil prices and the Dubai property slump further delayed the development.
Despite the setbacks, RAK Properties accomplished the handover of villas in precinct four during 2009, and the central Lagoon Marina and harbor consisting of a traditional Arabian souk, apartments, and docking area was also complete. The project has since begun to flourish. Several new residential and hotel properties such as the Flamingo Villas had been handed over in 2016, while Bermuda Villas opened the following year.
An essential element of the Mina Al Arab masterplan has been an InterContinental Hotel, which is due for completion in 2019. This resort will feature 350 rooms, luxury suites, pools, health club, spa, and restaurants. The InterContinental Hotel will be situated on Hayat Island, which is set to receive an AED5-billion investment from RAK Properties to become the new social and entertainment hub of Ras Al Khaimah.
It will be closely followed by the 306-room Anantara Resort, which will also provide resort amenities in a secluded and picturesque area. Enabling work on the Anantara resort began in 2016 where Al Nuaimi Group was awarded an AED30-million enabling works contract. Construction is currently progressing as planned, and the resort is set to open its doors to tourists in 2019. Minor Hotels, which will operate the Anantara Resort, is also set to open an AVANI Resort nearby Al Marjan Island in 2019, another nod toward the rapidly growing luxury hotel market in the Emirate.