By summer of 2015, Ajman can boast of a 5-star luxury resort theme park, pedestrian walkway and beach club. All these will be components of the first phase of the multi-billion-dirham Al Zorah project, which was re-launched in December 2011.
The 5-star hotel will be designed by Italian architect Piero Lissoni in collaboration with NORR Group, while Belgian architect Jean Michel Gathy from Denniston will be designing 230 rooms in the resort, Al Zorah Development Company, the development company, said.
Al Zorah is a joint venture between the government of Ajman and DIFC-registered Solidere International.
"Eight UAE construction companies have been invited who will be submitting their bids on January 17, 2013," the developer said.
Covering an area of over 100,000 square meters, the resort will have over 154 individual rooms, private suites, and villas in addition to four restaurants and a spa.
Contracts for infrastructure works have already been awarded. In addition, work on the road linking the project with Emirates Road has been completed. The project, according to Al Zorah, is only 15 minutes from Sharjah International Airport and 25 minutes from Dubai International Airport.
The first phase will include "Mangrove of the World Theme Park" that will be developed in collaboration with BRC, a top consulting company, offering visitors an interactive experience with environment and marine nature and activities.
There will be a Board Walk, a pedestrian walkway of over 300 meters surrounded by restaurants, cafes and shops all the way to the waterfront tourist marina area and a beach club, designed by Lebanese architect Bernard Khoury which will include a spa, several swimming pools restaurants, amusement and entertainment centers.
A golf course & club house, including a 18 hole golf course, apartments and villas; and visitors pavilion overlooking various attractions in Al Zorah Resorts including the mangrove forest are other key components, the company said.
Originally master-planned as a "coastal city" in late 2007, the Al Zorah project was worth Dh220-billion, but land size was reduced by half post re-launch in December 2011.
The new master plan, released by the company then said, the project would have five districts: City Centre, comprising hotels, offices, retail centres, marinas and a public square; Parkland Resorts, a community of six beachfront hotels, creek side residences complemented by a 1.6 km stretch of sandy beach and three-kilometer lagoon frontage; Golf Course – a 18 hole championship course; Gateway, a high-rise mixed-use community and Corniche Village with villas and townhouses that overlook the sea.
"The first phase of the project will have four hotels with 700 rooms. Contracts worth Dh1.2 billion have already been issued… we expect phase one to be completed by 2014," Imad Dana, Chief Executive Officer, Al Zorah Development Company, had said.