x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Al Forsan sports resort development set to open to public in Khalifa City

A multibillion-dirham sports resort project in Abu Dhabi, including an indoor paintballing centre and wake boarding facilities, plans to open to the public next week.

The motorsport track at Al Forsan. The resort will also offer activities such as shooting, watersports, riding and paintballing. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National
The motorsport track at Al Forsan. The resort will also offer activities such as shooting, watersports, riding and paintballing. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National

A vast sports resort development in Abu Dhabi that claims to have the region's first cable park for wake boarders and waterskiers is to open to the public next week.

The multibillion-dirham Al Forsan resort in Khalifa City will offer an array of activities including shooting, karting, watersports, riding and paintballing.

It plans to make its money from the development on property sales and a five-star hotel, rather than membership fees.

"The operating cost is high," said Atef Nagib, the resort's managing director. "That's why we thought of the other investment with the hotel and the residential complex, because the club will never pay its money by having members and walk-in guests."

He said the resort was ultimately a government project, but had been set up as a private company funded through bank loans.

The resort's facilities, spread over 1.6 million square metres, include two man-made lakes with the region's first cable park - an overhead cable system - to pull along wake boarders and waterskiers, indoor and outdoor paintball centres, a polo field, outdoor and indoor equestrian arenas and five restaurants.

Mr Nagib declined to say what the project had cost.

It has 385 luxury villas, 440 apartments and a 400-room hotel, which is expected to be managed by Hilton, Mr Nagib said.

The properties had not yet been offered for sale, Mr Nagib added, but they were expected to be completed in the second half of next year.

"We are going to sell houses when it is 80 to 90 per cent complete," said Mr Nagib. "We expect [they will be for sale] by the end of this year."

He anticipated the revenues from property sale would help the resort to repay its bank loans within five years.

The hotel, on which construction work has already started, is scheduled to open in 2013.

As part of the development, there will also eventually be a community centre and hypermarket. Annual membership for the resort costs Dh25,000 (US$6,805) for a family of four and Dh14,000 for an individual.

The resort, which has already opened up to members, will open to the public on Wednesday for a "soft" opening. Its official launch is expected in September.

It is hoped the resort will cater for both residents and tourists. The company is also aiming to attract international sporting events. Development of the resort began in 2005.

rbundhan@thenational.ae