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Casino in the UAE: RAK prepares for gambling.

The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is preparing to open the first legal casino in the UAE in 2027. To boost its real estate sector and compete with Dubai, the emirate is focusing on developing luxury properties and major projects to attract wealthy individuals from around the world.

The casino, which will be the largest in the world with an area of 18,500 square meters, is part of a spacious resort by Wynn Resorts. This project on Al Marjan Island with 1,500 rooms is driving investment activity and attracting well-known construction companies that were previously not represented in the emirate.

The presence of the world’s largest casino is expected to transform the local real estate landscape and establish the city as an exciting and profitable real estate market in the UAE. Simon Quinton, off-plan manager at Colliers MENA, believes that the luxury casino resort will bring a significant influx of tourists and visitors, which will increase the demand for real estate, especially residential properties. This will make the market more attractive for buyers, investors and developers looking for expansion opportunities.

The Ras Al Khaimah government has established the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Entertainment and Gaming Regulation, heralding the development of the first casino in the region. The announcement of the casino has sparked speculation about casinos opening in other parts of the country, but no further plans have been announced since Wynn’s announcement.

The city’s domestic tourism saw a significant boost during the pandemic, with residents from Abu Dhabi and Dubai opting for staycations, hiking and glamping experiences in Ras Al Khaimah. As a result, the city recorded a steady increase in visitor numbers and exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Large hotel chains such as the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), Movenpick and Radisson entered the market and contributed to an annual growth rate in hotel supply of 17%.

The development of Ras Al Khaimah into a world-class tourist destination began in 2004 with the construction of the 1,500-room Wynn Hotel and the associated gaming resort.

A survey by Knight Frank found that high net worth individuals (HNWIs) are generally positive about the emirate’s prospects due to the imminent opening of the gaming resort, with East Asian HNWIs expressing even more interest.

The Ras Al Khaimah real estate market has seen a significant change in demand and preferences, with increased interest in property ownership and villa rentals. Areas such as Al Hamra Village and Al Marjan Island have experienced a surge in demand.

The city’s land and real estate sector saw a 45% increase in transactions to AED 4 billion in the first half of 2022, mainly due to the multi-million dollar Wynn deal.

Meanwhile, Dubai’s real estate market is experiencing a boom and attracting investors from different parts of the world due to its projected stable price growth, excellent infrastructure and proactive government policies.


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