Reports claim that the UAE is prepping up to be the new location for international casinos as it seeks foreign investment.
The UAE is looking at this option after the announcement made by Saudi Arabia that firms must move their head offices to the Kingdom by 2024 if they want to enjoy the investment opportunities of the Saudi government.
The UAE will now be moving quickly to maintain its position as a leader in foreign investments, in which Dubai has been excelling for decades. On the other hand, Abu Dhabi concentrates on amusement parks as an investment solution.
As major casino operators are turning towards new countries in search of a potential market, the UAE could cash in, not least as the saturation of the US market and Macau’s inability to expose itself to new concessions.
There are not many Arab countries which are allowed to have casinos. Lebanon will enable its residents and foreigners alike to go inside their casinos, whereas Egypt restricts them, all gambling to foreigners only, as followed by Tunisia. Morocco allows all types of gambling.
Thus, the UAE has an opportunity to be the next in the large market. This year, Ras Al-Khaimah, one of the smallest of its seven emirates, declared a deal with Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas to construct an integrated resort on Al-Marjan Island, a small, artificial archipelago similar to the famous Palm Jumeirah on the coast of Dubai.
Wynn Resorts partake in this project with the local Marjan Group Holding, which holds and functions as a chain of hotels and leisure assets.
This is not the first time that a significant casino operator like Wynn has entered into the Gulf emirates, where theoretically, gambling is still illegal.
This time the different thing is that it explicitly involves plans to make a “play zone.” The word “play” here is vague; it could mean a casino with roulette and blackjack tables or something more innocent, like sports. Such word games during planning proposals are not random, as conservative nations do not want to enrage their citizens.