Wynn Resorts, Ready to Open the First Casino in the Gulf Arab Region


US publicly traded corporation that develops and operates high-end casinos and hotels Wynn Resorts has used its Q3 earnings conference call to update its investors on its plans to build an integrated resort in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to the original plans announced at the beginning of the year, the man-made island of Al-Marjan off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah has been chosen to host the first casino in the Gulf Arab area. Ras Al Khaimah is one of the lesser-known of the seven emirates part of the UAE. The event would mark a historical event for the region as explained by the company’s president and chief financial officer Craig Scott Billings. The region is known for being an area where gambling has been heavily restricted due to Islamic rules. 

The UAE Integrated Resort Will Open in 2026

The important project is likely to hold its grand opening ceremony sometime in 2026. During the conference call, Billings explained Wynn Resorts will likely share its detailed plan and renderings with the public in 2023. He further added that the casino that will be included in the integrated resort will be temporarily operated by Wynn. Calling the news “quite exciting,” Billings explained the casino would be “somewhat larger” than its casino in Las Vegas. 

$2 Billion Investment With 20% ROI

For the time being, Wynn has not officially revealed the price of the venture. However, estimates from analysts speak about a $2 billion forecast and a 20% expected return on investment. While Wynn Resorts will contribute around one-third to the stake, local hotel developer and new partner RAK Hospitality Holding LLC will bring the rest. 

International design firm with over 1400 architects, designers, and artists HKS Architects is the chosen architect for the upcoming Wynn casino in UAE. The company worked at designing Palazzo Las Vegas, Atlantis Paradise Island, and Venetian Macau. Wynn has selected UAE as a critical location that would help its plans to bring more geographical diversification to its portfolio. According to Billings, Wynn Resorts was “very focused” on the UAE project that he called a “tremendous, very high return opportunity” for them. Accordingly, he further explained that all of their “design and development efforts” were currently directed toward this region.

In mid-September, Related Companies announced it was interested in building a casino in the western half of Hudson Yards together with Wynn Resorts. Similar to the UAE which is regarded as one of the last untapped gambling frontiers on the planet, Manhattan also counts among the last untouched gambling markets with a huge potential ready to be harnessed.

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