Gambling resorts, challenges and first steps for the UAE

by Polly in Hot Topics

June 14, 2024

5 minutes to read

The latest casino resort developments in the UAE answer the question of whether or not land-based gaming entertainment is dying as the online casino industry is blooming. Looks like there is place for both!

The $3.9 billion project is a major development offering great gaming and holiday entertainment. It will boost tourism, increase job opportunities, and set new trends in entertainment and hospitality.

All about the Wynn Al Marjan Island project

The ultra-luxurious gaming resort is the first of its kind and will open to visitors in 2027.

Wynn Al Marjan Island will be a man made oasis which mixes its architecture and design with the rawness of the ecosystem. A good blend of serene and modern. The work on the resort is already underway, and according to CEO Craig Billings, they are excited to begin construction as it will become a must-see tourist destination within the UAE.

The resort will feature a spacious gaming floor, which, according to Wynn Resorts, will be around 224,000 square feet and makeup 4% of the gross floor area. The game availability we can expect from the Dubai casino resort has not been disclosed, considering the current ban on gambling within this region.

It’s a massive resort with a tower rising 305 meters above the sea, with the plan to include 1,500 rooms, villas and suites.

Challenges faced by the Wynn Al Marjan Island project

The project might have many excited, but we can’t ignore that everything isn’t necessarily smooth sailing. There are a couple of challenges they’re facing due to the current gambling ban within the UAE.

Wynn Resorts plans on adding a rather large gaming floor on the Al Marjan Island. In fact it may even be considered that the casino part of the resort will be larger than that of Wynn Las Vegas.

The island resort is set to include a hotel featuring 1,542 rooms and 22 private villas on a marina adjacent to the resort. Despite the plans for the casino component, everything rests on whether or not they get approval from the UAE.

Some good news is that a governmental body is being set up within the UAE. They will be responsible for creating and operating regulations for commercial gaming. This may mean that the possibility for gaming experiences on the Wynn Al Marjan Island will not be curbed and might even be ready just in time for the resort launch in 2027.

At the time, Wynn Resorts continued to market the Wynn Al Marjan Island resort despite needing to have confirmed gaming licensing in place. They are confident that licensing will be obtained as they have everything needed to operate gaming on the island. The Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings believes that there is no need for concerns regarding legalised gaming at the property as the process is specific to Ras Al Khaimah and does not stretch across the entire UAE.

MGM Resorts’ CEO, Bill Hornbuckle, is also confident in authorising casino licensing and gaming within the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

During the Global Gaming Conference in Las Vegas, Hornbuckle said that they are actively involved within the region with various projects, including Aria, Bellagio, and MGM on Dubai Island. He states that they are building facilities that could accommodate a casino and that they expect around 3 to 4 casinos across the Emirates.

Entertainment aside from gaming

The casino resort will not just limit entertainment to casino gaming, but it is already preparing options suitable for all. Other non-gaming features will be available for visitors as the island design is intended for day trips and longer visits.

The Wynn Al Marjan Island will have a large range of dining and lounging options. There are said to be over 24 options which cater to different tastes and preferences, giving visitors lots to choose from, whether they prefer a fine dining or casual eating experience.

One can also take some time to relax and rejuvenate with the exclusive spa experience offered here. The innovative spa and wellness facilities will offer luxurious treatments in serene environments.

Visitors who enjoy a good shopping experience can partake in retail therapy with high-end shopping at designer boutiques. There will also be the opportunity to visit the modern events centre for exhibitions, special occasions or conferences.

Daily light and laser shows will light up the night sky, giving visitors something magical and memorable to take home. Other forms of entertainment will include outdoor activities and unique productions, which can be viewed in the resort’s theatre.

The resort will likely generate around $1.8 billion in yearly revenue once it’s done.

One-stop gaming hub in the UAE

Apart from the luxurious Wynn Al Marjan Island, there is also the development of the eSports Island, a first of its kind. The eSports Island is a quick 5-minute drive away from the Wynn Al Marjan Island.

You can get more exciting details on the first of its kind eSports Island for the UAE in our previous article.

In terms of locations, the Wynn Al Marjan Island is located in Ras Al Khaimah, and the eSports Island is based in Abu Dhabi.

There is a lot of excitement about both developments, especially the eSports Island, as it hasn’t been done before.

The eSports Island will cost over $280 million and is the initiative of the leading international network of eSports clubs, True Gamers.

The eSports Island will include high-class hotel stays with over 200 luxury rooms. There will also be a TG Arena and GG Bootcamp space. The latter will be added for dedicated gamers who want to prepare for tournaments in a dedicated space featuring high-tech computers, analytical tools, and more. The TG Arena, on the other hand, will be a space perfect for hosting eSports tournaments, conferences, and digital exhibitions.

Article by Polly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey guys, my name is Polina but my friends and colleagues call me Polly. I am truly passionate about online casino gaming and exploring the different online gambling experiences. I'm really into diving deep into topics and researching all the details. My aim is to gather the best information and write interesting articles for all the readers at CasinoWow.

Anything incorrect or missing?

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