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US hotel operator Wynn Resorts recently unveiled a multibillion-dollar deal with Ras al-Khaimah to open a 1,000-room luxury hotel in the UAE's northern emirate.
Crucially, plans for the resort are understood to include a gaming area.
In parallel, Ras al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority announced the establishment of the Department of Entertainment and Gaming Regulation, a new agency to regulate “integrated resorts” that include gaming.
While there has been no confirmation that this represents the legalisation of gambling in the UAE, it is the clearest indication that it is being discussed.
The news has reopened the debate on gaming in the UAE. Speculation about opening casinos in the UAE is nothing new, but Wynn's announcement in January was significant and is analysed in detail in the March edition of MEED Business Review.
MEED's industry report this month turns the spotlight on the upstream oil and gas sector, where stronger energy prices are supporting the region’s return to capacity building with an eye to long-term demand.
Crude oil prices rose to their highest levels since July 2014, breaching the $100-a-barrel mark, on 24 February as Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine.
Analysts expect a wave of upstream investment as more projects find funding amid elevated oil prices.
This month's 19-page Market Focus on Egypt, meanwhile, finds Cairo proving irresistible to development finance and export credit lenders, despite its awkward politics.
MEED's March 2022 bespoke index ranks Mena countries in terms of their climate resilience. Balancing risk and preparedness, the GCC countries broadly emerge on top in the regional index.
Must-read sections in the March 2022 edition of MEED Business Review include:
> AGENDA: High stakes for UAE tourism / UAE expands on gaming grey area
> CURRENT AFFAIRS: Qatar keen to befriend Europe amid Ukraine crisis
> OPINION: Clear horizons for GCC economies
> MEED COMMENTS: Bahrain golden visa buoys reform push / Military spending remains a priority
> BIG INTERVIEW: Hassan Allam targets expansion of investment unit
> FOREIGN POLICY: UAE pushes for foreign policy stability
> MEED CLIMATE RESILIENCE INDEX: UAE edges lead in climate resilience
> UPSTREAM REPORT: Upstream players get back to basics
> EGYPT MARKET FOCUS: Egypt grows as market of opportunity
> EXPO: UN official gives sustainability warning
> LEGAL: UAE corporate tax marks turning point
> LEADERSHIP: Burnout crisis remains looming threat
> GULF PROJECTS INDEX: Gulf projects index holds steady in February
> DECEMBER 2022 CONTRACTS: January sees slump in regional awards activity
> BUSINESS OUTLOOK: Finance, oil and gas, construction, power and water contracts
We hope you enjoy the March 2022 edition of MEED Business Review.
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