The Island

The Island in Dubai remains without a casino

The grandiose resort complex on The Island in Dubai, the centrepiece of which will be MGM, Bellagio and Aria hotels, will be without a casino, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle said.

The project, announced back in 2017, will cost US$2.5bn and will add a total of 1,400 rooms to Dubai’s hotel stock thanks to developer Wasl’s new megaproject off the Jumeirah coast. The developer has entrusted the construction of the island to the Chinese State Engineering and Construction Corporation.

MGM Resorts is known to be one of the leading operators of integrated resorts, including the MGM Grand, the world’s largest hotel with 6,852 rooms in Las Vegas, under the group’s management. The MGM Resort in Dubai is expected to consist of 1,000 rooms and 10 villas.

Like Las Vegas, the hotel will feature a similar water show, theatre, restaurants, specialty shops, traditional and interactive museums, a beach club and entertainment areas for adults and children.

Bill Hornbuckle earlier emphasised that a “non-gaming integrated resort” is planned to be built in Dubai, but noted that his company is watching the development of the gaming industry in the region with great interest. Thus, he said, Abu Dhabi, specifically Yas Island, has the best chance of obtaining a casino licence.

In September 2023 in the United Arab Emirates created a new federal body General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority), which will develop a regulatory framework for gambling and lotteries.

Kevin Mullally, who has 30 years of experience in the field of national and international regulation of gambling, was appointed Director General of the new agency. Abu Dhabi will control the activities of the department, but the rulers of the emirates will decide whether to allow gambling on their territory.

Casino activity is currently banned in the UAE, but back in 2022, Wynn Resorts said it would build an integrated resort with a gambling house in Ras Al Khaimah in 2027.

Source: What’s On

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