Football: Real Madrid scraps US$1-billion resort plan in UAE

DUBAI (Bloomberg) - Real Madrid cancelled a planned US$1 billion (S$1.25 million) football-themed resort in the United Arab Emirates after the project's organiser, Luxembourg-based RAK Marjan Island Football, defaulted on payments.

The project was announced in an April 2012 ceremony. The plan included a 10,000-seat stadium, a marina, residential and retail properties, a football training academy and a 450-room five-star hotel on the artificial Marjan Island in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

"It's very hard to raise finance domestically, let alone internationally, for those projects," Digvijay Singh, an analyst at VTB Capital, said on Sunday. "To me, it was just a matter of time before the project was called off as the interest was just not there."

The cancellation is the latest sporting setback for Marjan Island. In 2009, the government agreed to build facilities for America's Cup teams and sponsors on the island, but the race failed to materialise there.