Ras Al Khaimah, the sixth-largest city in the UAE, will soon be home to the nation’s first ever casino after American-based hotel developer Wynn Resorts announced its future venture, set to be completed by 2026.
Ras Al Khaimah are in the midst of drawing up brand new gambling laws specifically for the casino, with the Gulf region traditionally holding more stringent Islamic laws than other areas in the Arab world.
The 20,000sqm hotel and resort will be built on the Wynn Al Marjan Island – a man-made land mass that stretches 4.5 kilometers into the gulf of Arabia.
At an expense of over $2bn, it is already the most expensive foreign investment project in the Emirate, with over 1,200 rooms, dedicated betting and gaming facilities, as well as luxury hotel amenities providing a comprehensive tourism experience.
Global real estate company Colliers published a report detailing the future of tourism in Ras Al Khaimah, and cited the brand-new Wynn Resort as one of the driving forces for new visitors.
It said: “Based on an analysis which studied the impact of the opening of gaming facilities on visitation, and considering the characteristics of RAK’s tourism, it is envisioned that the Wynn Al Marjan Island will induce significant demand in its first year.
“This is expected to be followed by a prolonged secondary growth period, lasting three years. As a result, it is estimated that the city will welcome over 3.8m visitors by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 28% from 2022.
“By 2030, it is envisioned that the city will be able to welcome over 5.5 million visitors, contingent upon the success of the Wynn Resort. Overall, positively impacting the economy across all factors, ranging from employment to overall GDP.”
Ras Al Khaimah is perhaps not as well known as the some of the other six emirates in the nation, opening a casino in the face of long-standing gambling laws signals a significant attitude chance in the UAE.