UAE Is Getting Its First Casino, Collaborating With Wynn Resorts

  • The UAE casino will be almost double the size of the Wynn Las Vegas casino resort
  • The hope is that the property will be able to open its doors in 2026
  • Local authorities are still in the process of creating the new gaming laws
  • Wynn Resorts believes that the project will be a very high-return opportunity
UAE flag
It looks like casino gambling is coming to the UAE, as a Wynn Resorts project is on the horizon. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Exciting times in UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) appears to be close to getting its very first casino. Details of the plan were revealed this week, with Wynn Resorts to lead the project. The company’s first-ever beach resort, the casino is expected to be nearly double the size of Wynn Las Vegas.

will be ready to open its doors in 2026

The UAE project will be known as Wynn Marjan and the hope is that it will be ready to open its doors in 2026. At about 18,500 square meters in size, it would be of the world’s largest casinos.

Embracing gaming

The location for the development will be Dream Island, an unused part of Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah. No other resorts will be on Dream Island; it is unclear what the cost will be to develop the property. In addition to a casino, the current plan is to have a hotel with more than 1,000 rooms, a luxury shopping mall, restaurants, and various entertainment options.

Al Marjan Island is made up of four different islands, containing many beaches and waterfront space, as well as numerous residential developments and hotels.

The region’s gaming laws are still being written by local authorities. The tourism development authority in the area has already started a new division that will be in charge of regulating the casino. There is also a newly-created Department of Entertainment and Gaming Regulation that will look at all aspects of the casino sector. Casino regulations in the US and Singapore are reportedly being used as guides.

An untapped market

Talking about the project, Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings spoke about how the company does not want to “underbuild” the casino. He said that Wynn will initially be the sole operator of the casino and that the resort will have “numerous pockets of energy and compression.”

next step is to seek an integrated resort license

Wynn is putting a lot of time and resources into the UAE project, as the company expects it to be a very high-return opportunity. At the moment, the company is focusing on the development and design aspects. The next step is to seek an integrated resort license from the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.

There are currently no casinos in the UAE because they are illegal. Dubai has long been the most liberal area in the UAE and it denied in April that it was looking at potentially issuing casino licenses. Dubai is home to a resort from Caesars Entertainment, which was the casino company’s first-ever non-gambling project.