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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.


  1. 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”.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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?

  15. 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?

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

  17. 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…


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