The Dubai casino project by MGM is currently pending approval from the UAE.
Bill Hornbuckle, the Chief Executive Officer of MGM Resorts International, showed his optimistic stance on the UAE potentially becoming a hub for casino resorts during his speech at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, USA.
Hornbuckle revealed that MGM is involved in a project in Dubai, through the partnership with Wasl Asset Management Group. This project, encompassing MGM, Bellagio, and Aria, is built with a huge 150,000 sq. ft area, and is waiting for approval from the regulating body, GCGRA to incorporate gambling.
Hornbuckle expressed a sense of cautious optimism, emphasizing their desire to establish a foothold in Dubai with a fully operational casino, while also underscoring the importance of proceeding step by step.
The allure of the UAE’s gambling industry potential has caught the attention of major stakeholders. Analysts conducting research have projected that the UAE’s casino market could generate annual revenue of up to $6.6 billion, putting it in competition with already established markets.
While Dubai appears to be leading the charge in these developments, other emirates are also exploring chances in the gambling industry. According to an examination done by Knight Frank, 59% of respondents are sure that Abu Dhabi will soon house at least one gambling institution. Similar expectations were voiced by 58% of respondents for Dubai, while 48% anticipated integrated resorts in other cities.
The anticipated surge in the number of casinos is restructuring the tourism scene in the UAE. Other emirates face the hurdle of aligning their infrastructure with Dubai, whose assets encompass the thriving Dubai International Airport, having catered to over 66 mln passengers last year. Hornbuckle is confident about the prospective future, emphasizing MGM’s enduring connection with Dubai and its readiness to pivot in response to various situations.