(A change was made to clarify that contractors would be invited to prequalify this month, and a project value was added).

RAK Properties has announced that it plans to build two new projects at its Mina Al Arab master development in Ras Al Khaimah.

The company is set to build a 205-villa and townhouse community known as Marbella Villas set on the beachfront of Hayat Island, and a new public realm entertainment area called Angel Bay.

The homes will range in price from 1.5 million United Arab Emirates dirhams ($408,411) for a two-bed townhouse to 7.5 million dirhams for a five-bed villa. There will also be one eight-bedroom VIP villa property, and the community will also have its own clubhouse with two gyms, a multipurpose hall and a cafe.

Angel Bay will house attractions including a beach, a pier, a playground area, a large water slide and a zip line. It has been designed by British architecture firm RMJM.

A spokesperson for RAK Properties told Zawya via WhatsApp that Marbella Villas has a total project value of 500 million dirhams, and that contractors will be invited to prequalify for the main villa contract works this month.

Speaking at a press conference held to launch the projects in Dubai on Thursday, RAK Properties chief executive Samuel Sidiqi said that Angel Bay would be "the thread that binds together all of the elements of Hayat Island".

He said it would house a 150m-long pier stretching out into the water which will contain the slide, a swing and a zip line, as well as a number of beachfront restaurants. It will also house retail units.

Sotiris Tsoulos, a design director with RMJM, said that Angel Bay has been designed to be energy self-sufficient and would feature more than 20 art installations from local and international artists throughout the area.

"It's off the grid. It's run by photovoltaics," he said.

"One more idea was that we said, 'why don't we have the first and only drive-in cinema, not for cars but for boats? We know that lots of people in Dubai and the emirates own boats, but what's the destination? Can we make a social destination for boats?" Tsoulos said.

Sidiqi said that although the UAE property market was in a downturn, "any time when the market is difficult, there is a flight to quality".

"Quality developments where people who really enjoy their life, they do well. When prices are down, people then see the opportunity of moving to that nicer place."

According to Asteco's Q2 UAE Propery Market report, prices for high-end apartments in Ras Al Khaimah declined by 7 percent in the year to the end of June, with two-bed apartments typically costing between 45,000-65,000 dirhams per annum to rent.

(Reporting by Michael Fahy; Editing by Shane McGinley)


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