Friday, October 13, 2006

7 star hotel in La Hoya Ras Al Khaima

Ras Al Khaimah's twin-track strategy of residential and tourism related initiatives is paying off with Khoie Properties confirming the development of a seven-star, 500-room hotel as part of La Hoya Bay development.

Seven-star properties are still a rarity in the region, and such an announcement immediately raises the profile of the whole development. "The hotel will be closely integrated with the location on Marjan Island as it provides for a first-rate marina and all the requirements to create a signature setting," says Frank Khoie, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

"We have divided the La Hoya Bay project into five key phases and the one for the hotel will be bigger than the four others put together." For the moment, Khoie Properties is emphasising the residential element within the project, which is expected to take up seven years. The first phase, rolled out just recently, will involve 725 Mediterranean architecture-themed freehold units and cost $180 million.

Currie and Brown has been signed on to do the project management for this phase. "We are in the process of confirming the main contractor - three leading names are in the fray," adds Khoie. "While the market remains so unpredictable, we believe $180 million will be enough to see us through this phase. The funds will primarily come from internal resources. "The group has an investment company based in London, which could negotiate with private investors to come on board if necessary. Right now, we do not see the need for it. A second phase could be launched in December, but details on its were not forthcoming.

La Hoya Bay represents one of the biggest private sector led initiatives launched to date in Ras Al Khaimah, which has steadily seen its regional and international profile go up as a property investment destination. It bought the land six months ago.

"Ras Al Khaimah is the next Dubai for the property market - Sharjah and Ajman are not there yet and Umm Al Quwain still has a long way to go. It helps that the emirate has 30 kilometres of beachfront," Khoie says.

Before La Hoya Bay, it had built mid-rise buildings in Ajman and was also active in Emaar and Nakheel projects. On whether La Hoya Bay will take up all the group's interest for the immediate future, Khoie says: There are still a lot of opportunities for developers in Dubai, though we will not come in with another generic tower. It has to be quite selective.

[Article from Property Weekly on 11th October 2006]

No comments: