Scaled-down UAE resort relaunched


Sean Dudley

Plans have been unveiled for a large-scale tourism development, including a golf course, in Ajman, the smallest of the seven United Arab Emirates.

The Al Zorah resort is being developed as a joint venture between the Ajman government and the Lebanese firm Solidere International. The project was originally put forward several years ago as part of a ‘new city’ development worth up to AED 220 billion (US$60 billion), but was suspended after the UAE property market crashed in 2008 and has now been revived on a much smaller scale.

Nonetheless, the project is still ambitious, covering over 5.4 million sq m. The masterplan envisages five districts, a city centre including hotels, offices, retail centres, marinas and a large public square; Parkland Resorts, a community of six beachfront hotels and residences with by a 1.6km stretch of sandy beach and 3km of lagoon frontage; an eighteen hole golf course – an 18-hole championship course; Gateway, a high-rise mixed use community; and Corniche Village, with villas and townhomes overlooking the sea.

The first phase of Al Zorah, including two hotels, a 180-room tourist village, a beachside village and a golf course, will be completed by 2014, and funded from the developer’s own resources, according to chief executive Imad Dana.