Casino events

Opening of the first casino in the UAE as part of an integrated complex in Ras Al Khaimah

As the UAE prepares to legalize gambling, Wynn Resorts has announced plans to build a “multi-billion” dollar integrated resort in Ras Al Khaimah.

Wynn Resorts – which in addition to its US properties also operates three casinos in Macau – will team up with developer Marjan and RAK Hospitality Holding to develop a 1,000-room luxury hotel with 10 restaurants and lounges, a spa, fitness center congresses, shopping venues and gaming area as part of the Al Marjan Island resort project.

The announcement was accompanied by a statement from the Ras al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) introducing a new division, called Department of Entertainment and Gaming Regulation, which will regulate ‘integrated resorts’ including hotel operations, entertainment and “gaming” spaces.

After discussions with management, the company said the deal would likely be structured under a management contract hosting structure, under which Wynn would receive a commission of approximately 5% of net revenue, plus an investment fee based on EBITDA.

He will also own part of the real estate business from which he may receive dividends.

Wynn is likely to invest about $250-300 million in the project, Deutsche Bank said, adding that Wynn’s fee is expected to be $60-80 million assuming an EBITDA of $300 million.

Wynn said the complex would be the largest foreign direct investment of its kind in Ras Al Khaimah.

Craig Billings, new General Manager of Wynn Resorts, said, “Al Marjan Island is a pristine setting and pristine location ideal for creating unique experiences for the guests that Wynn Resorts is known for.

“The region offers enormous potential for the hospitality and tourism industry, and we are excited about the prospect of developing an integrated resort in Ras Al Khaimah.”

The man-made Al Marjan is located 15 minutes from Ral Al Khaimah Airport and 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

Marjan is the master developer of freehold properties in Ras Al Khaimah, which is positioning itself as a leading tourist and investment destination in the region.

RAK Hospitality is an integrated hospitality and leisure company.

Image: The underdevelopment of the island of Al Marjan.

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