Wynn Resorts, a US-based company, will build its first beachfront project with 1,000 rooms, spacious mall, meeting and conference space, spa, more than ten restaurants, lounges, and entertainment options. Additionally, it will have what is being referred to as a “game area. According to Chief Executive Craig Scott Billings, hotel and casino giant Wynn Resorts will launch a casino at the opulent resort in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This will be the first Casino for the Gulf Arab region, where gambling has long been prohibited.
The opening of the casino would be a turning point for the Gulf, which has typically imposed stronger regulations than other regions of the Middle East.
The possibility of a new casino comes amid fierce competition in the Gulf, with business and tourism powerhouse UAE vying to become the preferred location in a region diversifying its economy that is based on oil.
In January, the Ras Al Khaimah emirate and Wynn revealed that the resort had received a gaming license without mentioning gambling. This announcement reignited speculation about the opening of casinos in additional UAE emirates, including the centre of regional tourism Dubai.
In an earnings call on Wednesday, Billings confirmed the casino, which is scheduled to open in 2026 on a man-made island off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah.
“The casino component is shaping out to be somewhat greater than Wynn Las Vegas, where at least for some time, we will be running on our own, which makes it extremely interesting,” he said. “You obviously don’t want to underbuild the casino, but you want to keep that sense of enthusiasm when you think about a market like that where you, for some time, will be the sole operator,” he continued.
Ras Al Khaimah is one of the smaller of the seven UAE emirates. While MGM Resorts International is currently constructing a resort in Dubai, the regional business hub, Caesars Palace currently operates a resort without a casino.