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March 22, 2012

Real Madrid unveils plans for $1 billion resort island in United Arab Emirates

RealMadridIsland (Getty Images)

Real Madrid has been known to push the envelope, whether it be with luring the world's top players, or signing expressive coaches in an effort to remain at the forefront of world soccer. What the club has up its sleeve now certainly ups the ante in that regard.

The Spanish power unveiled plans for a $1 billion island resort in the United Arab Emirates that is due to open in January, 2015. It is being built, in part, to strengthen, reinforce and expand the club's presence in the Middle East and Asia, according to comments made by club president Florentino Perez at an announcement at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday.

According to the club's plans, this resort will include a marina in the shape of the Real Madrid crest, hotels, villas, an amusement park and a 10,000-seat stadium that has one side open-ended to a body of water.

More computer-generated renderings of the future resort can be seen here.

What do you think of this fantasy Real Madrid island? Already booking your 2015 trip to the UAE? 

Share your thoughts below.


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But the ball would fly into the ocean!

endless interruptions!

And bankrupcy count down begins in 3...2....1...

sweet, maybe they'll go bankrupt now

Yuck. I used to be a Real fan and still am to a dwindling extent, but they make it hard sometimes. The idea oozes of the whole elitist Galactico mentality.

Will be interesting to see if it ever materializes...

This has to be one of the most asinine stories I have ever heard.

Let's not bee to hard on #RealMadrid. Spain as a country has an excellent record of spending within its means. Oh wait...

theyll never go bankrupt, the Spanish government and big Spanish companies will always stand behind this club and its massive fanbase.

Where is the money coming from? I thought they had issues already. If they have the money or not, totally dumb idea.

And that sound you here is Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban going, "Uck, why I didn't I think of that!"

A team-branded amusement island resort!

If this is even remotely successful American sports owners will do this in the southern Caribbean in a heartbeat. You're telling Belize wouldn't "sell" coastal areas for some serious New York Yankees cash?

This is fairly obscene in its overall opulence. I guess its fitting that its being built in UAE.
The big question is who exactly is paying for this? Is it Real themselves through loans or are the oil-rich emirs financing this so they can have Los Galacticos in their backyard?

Uh, WTF is this? Completely ridiculous.

Real Madrid = La verguenza del pais.

Yep ... they've been bailed out several times already in some absolutely slimy deals making all Atletico fans cry in their beer.

they would make the 1B back pretty swiftly. it may be over the top, but this is an investment rather than just throwing it away. it would attract a lot of people. Not me, but fanboys and glory hunters.

They can waste their money however they want. Barcelona is and will always be the premier club in Spain, Europe, and the World.

For $1 Billion, how many MLS teams could they have purchased?

April Fools isn't until next week.

You're a little early for your annual April Fool's post Ives...

What an absolute waste of time, money, energy, and resources.

Try how many MLS's could they buy...probably the whole leage a few times over!

The Spanish government might go bankrupt before Real Madrid does. Someday, Real is going bust, it's only a matter of time unless they change their ways

I have no issue with it--I think it looks awesome. It is an investment in their brand.

i don't get it. who would play in the stadium? unless its madrid, or another really good team, this confuses me. why someone would think the real madrid brand--absent the actual team playing-- would help sell a resort, is beyond me.

you idiot spanish goverment a nd banks are insolvent running ponzi scheme ha ha.

One more reason to hate Real M and F Perez , Their arrogance and opulence. Hope a big tsunami hits when they are all there.

I was reading this on Marca earlier today...I've got to think RM is simply licensing this, and won't be developing it.

Well, it's only Mahou.

Real Madrid is not paying for this project. NOT a single Euro cent.

The emirate of Ras al Khaimah (RAK) is paying for the resort through its government-controlled investment fund.

If anything, Ras al Khaimah is paying Real Madrid CF for using the "Real Madrid" brand.


So we have:

1. Dubai (Emirates Airlines) is still sponsoring Arsenal and AC Milan despite being saddled with debt.

2. Abu Dhabi is dumping stupid money into Manchester City FC

3. Ras al Khaimah is dumping stupid money into Real Madrid CF

4. Qatar is dumping stupid money into Paris St. Germain and FA Barcelona. Qatar is also supplying its TV outfit Al Jazeera with a monster Brinks truck with a giant bazooka mounted on top to blow away FOX Sports, ESPN, Inc., Univision, and GOLTV in the U.S.

Let's how FOX, ESPN, and Univision come up with a plan to fend of Al Jazeera. Make no mistake, Univision will be involved when the next EPL TV deal in the U.S. is up for bid in August.

What's the human cost going to be? How many migrant workers die or are maimed in the rush to build this monstrosity under the UAE's Dickensian labour laws?

Guess that's the price of extending the brand.

Enjoy it while you can. The UAE is going to look like Newark in 50 years when the oil supply dries up.

electric cars and solar panels yo!

It's hotter than hades there, and humid. Good luck doing anything - outside of the 2 months of winter.

I hate what oil money does to mankind.

What is the point of this place exactly? Come see Real play twice a year in the ocean? WTF

Good point. Is the money coming from UAE business/government. If this is the case than bravo Real that's one hell of a sponsorship

sweet jesus a real madrid themed roller-coaster

This story is coming about nine days early if you ask me...

You're aware the per capita debt ratio is higher in the U.S. than Spain, right?

You're aware the per capita debt ratio is higher in the U.S. than Spain, right?

You mean we'll have to bail them out someday?

Yes, but we don't have 20+% unemployment or 50+% youth unemployment, and we have our own currency so we can control our own monetary policy and we are supposed to have GDP growth of 2 to 3% this year. Do you seriously think Spain is better off than the US, right now?

Uhm, it's already been done. You have heard of Ferrari World, haven't you? It's the same sort of ridiculousness.


I take it you are not in the business world and do not think a macro level. this is an investment... an investment in which they would make their money back and then some.

Agreed. A colossal waste of resources.

+1 on all accounts!

F*cking fascists.

barca fans are so arrogant it makes me hate the team. thank god messi filters all your smug. barca still has many trophies to get before they are on madrid's level, historically.

haha this is hilarious. anyone who thinks this is a bad business investment is stupid. this is genius, especially because madrid will hardly put any money down but make a ton because they own the rights to all things related to the team (obviously). this is being built with oil money for sure and madrid will sit back and enjoy the profits. it's basically like ANY other luxury resort (e.g. Atlantis), except instead of "hilton" or "hyatt", it's "madrid".

They can buy all of the Islands they want, they're still an inferior club compared to Barcelona.

Looks like a great place to practice diving

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