IHG inks deal for RAK resort

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement with RAK properties to develop InterContinental Mina Al Arab Resort, Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates.The 300-room property will be conveniently located an hour from Dubai International Airport on the Coast Road, which connects all of the UAE emirates. The resort is set to open in 2010 as part of the Mina Al Arab development - an AED10 billion (US$ 2.7 billion) mixed-use leisure and holiday resort situated along a 13 kilometre (eight mile) beach.

Ras Al Khaimah is known for its rich landscape and natural resources and these factors, together with its prime location along the Persian Gulf coastline, are contributing to its increasing development as a tourist destination.

John Bamsey, Chief Operating Officer, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Middle East & Africa, said, “With Ras Al Khaimah looking to quadruple the number of tourists by 2010 to 100,000, the emirate is really beginning to mark its place on the global travel map. InterContinental Mina Al Arab Resort is one of 11 InterContinental properties currently in the development pipeline across the Middle East and Africa region and we are looking forward to offering a truly authentic Arabic experience along with unrivaled access to this largely undiscovered destination.”

InterContinental Mina Al Arab Resort will incorporate extensive food and beverage options including a 150-seater, all-day dining restaurant, three speciality restaurants, two bars, a lobby lounge and an outdoor pool bar. While its state-of-the-art facilities, including two high-tech meeting rooms, a business centre and several retail units are expected to appeal to corporate bookings and business guests, those looking for a more relaxing experience will be able to enjoy the leisure amenities which include the health-club, gym, spa and pool.

The northernmost of the UAE’s seven emirates, Ras Al Khaimah is also the fourth largest in terms of population. Along with international demand, the emirate enjoys substantial weekend demand from Dubai and Abu Dhabi residents wishing to get away from the city hubs for a short break.

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InterContinental Mina Al Arab Resort will offer access to Ras Al Khaimah’s natural assets - quality coastline, mangrove forests, unspoilt desert, the Hajjar mountain range and a Bedouin culture dating back 7,000 years.

The Mina Al Arab project is set to include a theme park, Thalasso Therapy centre, marina and a heritage village. The development will also contain a cluster of 3,500 residential units and 388 residential villas, a traditional Arabian souq, 310 hectares of open spaces, ecological preserves and landscaping, traditional ‘abra’ water taxis, medical facilities, numerous cafes and restaurants and a range of world-class leisure and sports facilities.
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