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Wynn releases updated images of new UAE integrated resort

| By Kyle Goldsmith
Wynn Resorts has released updated pictures of its Wynn Al Marjan Island casino in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is expected to be the first integrated resort in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Wynn is estimating that the Wynn Al Marjan Island will be open to the public in early 2027. The resort, located in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, is set to cost approximately $3.9bn (£3.1bn/€3.6bn).

Construction on the casino, which will be Wynn’s first beachfront resort, began in early 2023. The resort will include 1,542 rooms and suites, including 22 private villa estates. There will also be 22 lounge, dining and bar experiences, as well as a theatre.

Wynn UAE
the wynn al marjan island will have over 1,500 hotel rooms and a range of entertainment facilities

Additionally, the venue will feature a 15,000sqm shopping esplanade, a five-star spa and a 7,500sqm meetings and events centre.

Todd Lenahan, president and chief creative officer of Wynn’s design and development sector, believes the Wynn Al Marjan Island could become a huge attraction for the region.

“We designed the 300m-tall resort tower with Ras Al Khaimah’s historic role as a great navigational sentinel in mind,” Lenahan said. “We hope this becomes a new landmark, a new beacon, for travellers to Ras Al Khaimah from across the globe.”

Wynn looking to tap into UAE casino potential

Gambling in the UAE is currently a criminal offence. Anyone found to be doing so is potentially subject to a two-year prison sentence and an AED50,000 (£10,859/€12,650/$13,615) fine.

However, in September the UAE state-run news agency WAM announced the creation of the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA). The GCGRA will devise a regulatory framework for commercial gambling and national lottery in the UAE.

Wynn chief executive Craig Billings, previously stated the UAE was the most exciting market opening in decades. In the company’s announcement of its 2023 financial year results, Billings further talked up the opportunity.

“We have a substantial growth opportunity in the UAE that will further diversify our portfolio and expand our brand into new markets,” Billings said.

Wynn hoping to build on Macau success

Wynn has somewhat of a first-mover advantage in the UAE, despite not yet being issued with a licence. Billings previously claimed Wynn’s Ras Al Khaimah licence would be issued “imminently”.

Wynn also has previous experience in Asia. Macau proved hugely important in the company reporting a 73.9% revenue increase to $6.53bn for its FY2023. Operations in Macau were responsible for $3.10bn of Wynn’s revenue for the year, $910.6m of which was generated in Q4 alone.

Wynn Macau, which has around 294,000sqft in casino space, and the 1,706-room integrated resort Wynn Palace, have both flourished since the scrapping of Covid-19 measures in Macau.

During Wynn’s FY2023, Wynn Palace was responsible for $1.89bn in revenue, while Wynn Macau accounted for $1.21bn.

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