UAE Poised to Transform into Next Casino Resort Mecca, MGM Resort

Posted by Gerry Poltorak on Oct 17, 2023 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

Bill Hornbuckle, CEO of MGM Resorts International, remains buoyant about the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) potential emergence as a leading casino resort destination. He revealed, during his address at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) on October 12, 2023, in Las Vegas, that their proposed project in Dubai awaits the green signal from Emirati officials.

MGM Resorts’ grand vision for Dubai comes in collaboration with Wasl Asset Management Group, renowned for being among Dubai’s titans in real estate development and management. The conceptualized project boasts an expansive flexible space, spanning over 150,000 square feet, located on a 25-acre artificial island in Dubai. The elaborate blueprint includes three hotel towers encapsulating 1,500 rooms, showcasing iconic brand names – Aria, MGM Grand, and Bellagio.

This development synchronizes with the UAE’s progressive move toward endorsing gaming within its borders. This leap was symbolized by the inauguration of the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), with Jim Murren, former MGM Resorts International CEO, at its helm.

The economic forecast regarding the gaming sector in the UAE holds immense promise. A comprehensive 2023 study by Bloomberg Intelligence predicts the nation might amass a staggering $6.6 billion annually from gambling revenues. These numbers even challenge the impressive figures posted by Singapore.

Hornbuckle reiterates MGM’s steadfast commitment and rapport with Dubai, emphasizing their flexibility and adaptability in response to the evolving landscape, “The possibility of introducing our top-tier entertainment and hospitality to the UAE truly excites us. We’re collaboratively aligning our vision with our local partners and the government to concoct a resort that resonates with the locals while drawing international visitors.”

Further fueling this transformation in the UAE’s entertainment and tourism sector, Wynn Resorts had previously, in 2022, announced its ambitious undertaking of setting up an integrated resort, complete with a casino, in Ras al-Khaimah. Dubbed the ‘Wynn Al Marjan Island’, groundwork has been initiated, with its grand reveal planned for 2027.

The winds of change bringing legalized gaming to the UAE’s shores mark a monumental shift in the global gaming arena. With the UAE’s reputation of affluence, youthful demographic, and an enviable spot on the global tourism map, the advent of casino resorts promises not only to lure international big spenders but also to generate immense employment opportunities.

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