HB Exclusive: WOW Resorts to open $1.3B resort in UAE

U.S.-based WOW Resorts has entered into an agreement with JW Marriott to develop the $1.3-billion JW Marriott Al Marjan Island Resort & JW Marriott Residences Al Marjan Island on Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), UAE.

The founders of WOW Resorts, Anwar Ali Aman and Bhupender ‘Bruce’ Patel, made the agreement with representatives of JW Marriott and Arch. Abdulla Al Abdouli, CEO, Marjan. The collaboration marks the first JW Marriott-branded resort and residences on Al Marjan Island, a new destination in the area.

Bhupender ‘Bruce’ Patel and Anwar Ali Aman

Anticipated to open its doors towards the end of 2026, the resort, designed by Beverly Hills architect Tony Ashai with Dubai-based Lead Consultants Architecture Design Unit (ADU), marks WOW Resorts’ debut in the UAE’s Northern Emirates.

“The newly announced development promises to redefine the very essence of hospitality and residential opulence,” said Patel, cofounder/co-CEO, WOW Resorts, which will own and operate the properties. “Infused with bold design and premium experiences, for which the JW Marriott brand is celebrated, this new establishment is designed as an exquisite haven for both vacationers and those seeking the pinnacle of luxury resort living. This extraordinary property caters to aspiring homeowners, the discerning globetrotter of tomorrow, nature enthusiasts and aficionados of aquatic sports.”

Comprising an exclusive portfolio of 524 residences, featuring a selection of 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom residences and penthouses, alongside 300 guestrooms, the properties are set against the backdrop of turquoise waters, offering views of the ocean. Amenities include seven distinctive dining venues, a spa, pools and a fitness center.

“It is a privilege to work with the prestigious JW Marriott and Al Marjan Island to unveil our flagship project in one of UAE’s most eagerly anticipated developments,” said Aman, cofounder/co-CEO, WOW Resorts. “We are humbled by the opportunity to further enrich our portfolio in the luxury sector, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to the government and leadership of Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE for their efforts in enhancing investments in the tourism, hospitality and residential segments within the region.”

Arch. Abdulla Al Abdouli added, “We are delighted to welcome JW Marriott and WOW Resorts to our flagship development, in line with our commitment to creating unparalleled living experiences for residents and guests on Al Marjan Island. JW Marriott Al Marjan Island Resort and JW Marriott Residences Al Marjan Island are a luxury offering that will boost investment opportunities for both homeowners and tourists keen on enjoying the perks of waterfront living in prime leisure hubs. Al Marjan Island offers a perfect blend of luxury and nature and with excellent returns on investment, it further reinforces Ras Al Khaimah’s appeal as an investment and lifestyle destination.”

Jaidev Menezes, regional VP, mixed-use development EMEA, Marriott International, said, “It is truly a unique project that will provide an unparalleled experience for visitors and residents alike. With its stunning beaches, luxurious outlets and world-class amenities, Al Marjan Island is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. We look forward to its continued success.”

Ras Al Khaimah, and Al Marjan Island in particular, have witnessed a consistent and steady demand for residential and tourism developments, indicating a positive outlook for real estate investment opportunities in the northern emirate.

The region had exactly what WOW Resorts’ leaders were looking for. “The tourism industry in this part of the world is, I would say, the most robust in the entire world,” said Patel. “Not only is it excellent in terms of occupancies, GOPs and NOIs, but It checks all the boxes. And it’s very much so on an upward trajectory. You can practically say its parabolic at this point. So, the sustainability, the future, its outlook, all those things—we’re checking all those boxes.”