Global real estate developer Crowngate International has begun construction on its latest project in the UAE, The Avani Resort on Al Marjan in Ras Al Khaimah. The hotel is expected to open around 2020 and will be managed by Minor Hotels.
According to TradeArabia, the $50-million project will meet the rapidly increasing demands for hotels in the affordable luxury category. It also marks Crowngate International's first project within the hospitality business.
The developer has appointed Naga Architects to design the property. Meanwhile, the group has appointed Dubai-based Vanguard Consultancy as project management consultants on the development.
The 225-room resort will be located on a beach-front plot on View Island of the man-made archipelago. It will include two pools, a gym, a kids' club, dining and poolside restaurants and meeting and event spaces with a 200-people capacity.
Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said in statement, "We are delighted to welcome AVANI Resort Al Marjan Island, further supporting our own vision to enhance and diversify the emirate’s hospitality offering as we target one million visitors by the end of 2018, and three million by 2025. Currently boasting just over 5,000 hotel rooms, the emirate is to add a further 4,445 new rooms in the coming years across various categories, with a number of opportunities still available for further investment in Ras Al Khaimah’s hospitality landscape.”
In 2016, the emirate recorded an 11-percent increase in visitor arrivals compared to 2015. This was primarily attributed to an increase in beach resort guests, which now contributes to more than 80 percent of visitors. Two-thirds of upcoming hotel projects represent the five-star segment. Ras Al Khaimah has been witnessing a spike in demand from cost-conscious tourists looking for premium four-star options at competitive rates.
Al Marjan Island accounts for 78 percent of the emirate's new hotel pipeline. It is just outside the city, meeting the demands for locals' "staycations" and international visitors. The domestic UAE market, Ras Al Khaimah's largest source market, represents 40 percent of visitor arrivals year-to-date. International tourist arrivals grew by 11 percent year-on-year. In 2016, visitors from the GCC markets also increased by 3.8 percent.