Announced amid a flood of social and economic reforms in the UAE that cover everything from alcohol consumption to foreign ownership of businesses, and even the working week, the potential significance of a property development deal in Ras al-Khaimah (Rak) involving US hotel operator Wynn Resorts was easy to miss.
Wynn announced in late January that it is partnering with the local property developer Marjan and the government-owned hotel and leisure operator Rak Hospitality Holding to build a luxury resort in the northern emirate. Crucially, plans for the resort are understood to include a gaming area.
UAE-watchers see this as a potentially significant step that could pave the way for the introduction of casinos or other similar venues in other emirates, particularly Dubai.
Details of Wynn’s plans remain sketchy, but the smart money is that it would allow for betting activities of some kind, based in part on the fact that UAE law is vague on what constitutes gaming. One heavy hint is provided in the use of the term “integrated resort” – shorthand for a combined casino and hotel entity. Read more here
This package on the UAE's gaming sector also includes:
> High stakes for UAE tourism
> UAE expands on gaming grey area
> Gaming debate against the odds
> Wynn Rak resort echoes UAE tourism appeal
> Wynn to develop Marjan island resort
> Download the March 2022 issue here
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