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.
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.
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.