x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Rakeen pushes on with phase 2 of Al Marjan Island

The government property arm of the Ras al Khaimah Investment Authority, has authorised work to begin next month.

Rakeen, the government property arm of the Ras al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), has authorised work to begin next month on phase two of Al Marjan Island, a 270-hectare man-made island several kilometres away from the centre of the city. The company, which is also the master developer of the island, said the works would be completed in 18 months. The cost is estimated at Dh365 million (US$99.3m).

"We awarded the contract for the infrastructure to the Italian company, Rizzani, two months ago," said Wahid Attalla, a member of the Rakeen board. "They have worked in Dubai and Abu Dhabi previously. The first phase of the infrastructure started a long time ago. There are four islands in total." Phase one of the infrastructure work, which covers the Peninsula, Island 1 and Island 2, was started in July last year and is expected to be completed next June at a cost of Dh366m.

"This project means a lot to everyone at Rakeen and in Ras Al Khaimah, as it is pioneering in so many ways: building technology, environment and marine ecology, tourism and hospitality, residential exclusivity, leisure and sports facilities, and also because it enhances the skyline and the international image of the emirate," said Herbert Krause, the director of development at Rakeen. After works stalled on Dana Island, another nearby project owned by RAKIA, investors have been allowed to transfer their holdings to Al Marjan Island.

The Al Marjan Island project has suffered from delays in payments from the investors and developers. A senior executive of Khoie Properties, the developer of the flagship mixed-use project La Hoya Bay, was sentenced last month to three years in prison over two bounced cheques to RAKIA. Some of the proposed payments related to sales on Al Marjan Island. Rakeen is waiting for a court decision to allow it to develop the La Hoya Bay project.

Rakeen has adopted a three-step strategy to consolidate investments, extend payment plans for investors who are performing and, in some cases, cancel the contracts of those who default, Mr Attalla said. ngillet@thenational.ae