Casino In UAE
Wynn Resorts will open a casino at the luxury resort it is building in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to Chief Executive Craig Scott Billings, a first for the Gulf Arab region, where gambling has long been prohibited. The casino would be a watershed moment for the Gulf, which has historically imposed stricter rules than the rest of the Middle East.
The prospect of a new casino comes amid intense competition in the Gulf, with the business and tourism hub UAE vying to become the go-to destination in a region diversifying its oil-dependent economy.
The Ras Al Khaimah emirate and Wynn announced in January that the resort had been licensed for gaming but did not specify what type of gaming, reigniting speculation that casinos would be introduced in other UAE emirates such as regional tourism hub Dubai.
In an earnings call on Wednesday, Billings confirmed the casino, which is scheduled to open in 2026 on a man-made island off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah.
“The casino component, where we will be operating on our own for at least some time, which is quite exciting,” he said, “is shaping up to be somewhat larger than Wynn Las Vegas.”
“When you think about a market like that, where you will be the sole operator for a period of time, you don’t want to underbuild the casino, but you do want to maintain that sense of energy,” he added.
Ras Al Khaimah is one of the seven Emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Caesars Palace currently operates a resort without a casino in Dubai, and MGM Resorts International is developing a resort.