Ras al-Khaimah has pledged to move ahead with its real estate development plans in spite of the downturn in the region’s property market.

Selected schemes
Project Estimated total value ($bn)
Al Hamra Village 1.9
Al-Marjan island 1
Gateway City 1.1
Mina al-Arab 2.7
Source: MEED Projects  

“No projects have been cancelled or scaled back, everything will go ahead as planned,” said Khater Massaad, chief executive officer, Ras al-Khaimah Investment Authority (Rakia).

Two of Rakia’s main real estate developments are Marjan island and the Gateway City development.

The $1bn Marjan Island development is a man-made island project that consists of four coral shaped islands and a peninsula. The total development will cover an area of 3.1 million square metres.

On 24 July the local developer Khoie Properties signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Dubai-based Arabtec Construction to build the AED2.5bn ($680m) La Hoya Bay Development on the island.

The project is scheduled to be constructed in phases over the next 54 months. Work on the first phase will start immediately.

The development will consist of five different sectors. The first sector, La Hoya Residences, will comprise of seven residential buildings and recreational facilities.

The La Hoya Bay Business Village is planned to contain offices with free-zone status and apartment buildings.

The third sector, La Hoya Bay Regency, will comprise of 12 residential buildings, retail facilities and a 200-room hotel. The La Hoya Bay Autumn sector is scheduled to consist of serviced apartments, medical facilities, yacht club and community centre.

The fifth sector will comprise of a 300-room hotel and 800 apartments. The main consultant for the La Hoya Bay project is the local office of KEO International.

The La Hoya Bay development will cover a total land area of approximately 1.5 million square feet.

The Gateway City development on Emirates Road is another of Rakia’s large real estate projects. One of the largest projects at the Gateway City Development is the $400m convention centre.

 “We expect the designs to be completed in the next six to 12 months. Construction contracts will be tendered at some point after this, although at the moment we are not sure when this will be,” said Khater Massaad, chief executive officer, Rakia.

The convention centre will have five exhibition halls covering a total area of 50,000 square metres. The development is also scheduled to contain three hotels with 1,800 rooms each and three shopping malls.

The architects for the project are Netherlands-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and Norway’s Snohetta.

The convention centre is part of the planned second phase of the Gateway city development. The Gateway City Towers project is also part of the second phase, and will involve the construction of 15 high-rise towers.

The tallest tower will be 875-metres high, eight will 400-metres high and the rest will be 313-metres high. The project development is planned to include residential apartments, hotels and office spaces.

The City Towers scheme is also in the design stage and US-based architecture firm Murphy and Jahn is carrying out the design work

The design work for phase two of Gateway City is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2011.

Rakia was established by the government in 2005 to oversee the socioeconomic development of the emirate.