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Chinese flock to the market due to the casino opening

The highly anticipated first legal casino opening in the UAE at the Wynn Resort in Ras Al Khaimah, accompanied by the establishment of a new regulatory body for legal gambling, will bring new confidence to the country’s already thriving real estate sector, according to experts quoted by Arabian Business.

The first legal casino opening in the UAE and the Gulf region is expected to take place in early 2027. Although the resort is still in the early stages of construction, it has already attracted the interest of international investors.

Shane Breen, head of Savills in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, explained that the casino has accelerated the growth of the high-end residential market in Ras Al Khaimah and triggered unprecedented demand from investors for lifestyle projects near the casino. At present, most of the notable activities are concentrated on the off-plan market. However, this is also reflected in prices on the secondary market, which are rising considerably in settlements such as Al Hamra and Mina Al Arab, says Breen.

The establishment of a “commercial gaming” regulator in the UAE last month is a significant step that could potentially open the doors for casino licenses across the country. Ali Manzoor, Head of Hospitality at CBRE Middle East, sees this new regulatory framework as a key initiative that will enhance the UAE’s appeal as a prime destination. Manzoor also believes that further developments in this sector will help to improve the UAE’s status as a tourism hotspot.

Breen shares this view and believes that the regulatory authority will strengthen investor confidence in the market. If prices in Ras Al Khaimah rise excessively, this could have a direct impact on other local real estate markets, for example in the Emirates of Umm Al Quwain or Ajman. He also predicts new investment opportunities in the hospitality and entertainment sectors, which will attract investors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and abroad, thereby boosting economic growth.

Paul Kelly, Director of Operations, anticipates that these new investment opportunities will lead to immediate job creation and an influx of tourists, not only in the gaming industry, but also in hospitality, transportation and local retail.

“Dubai, which is already an established center for tourism and business, could rise to new economic heights with these developments and the casino opening,” says Kelly.

Manzoor anticipates that this will expand the UAE’s list of attractions, attract a wide range of visitors and diversify the source markets. This will ultimately contribute to the country’s long-term economic stability. However, only time and further developments will show whether the predicted positive effects will materialize in full.

The opening of casinos and the introduction of the gambling regulatory authority will support the country’s long-term economic stability. The activities of Chinese investors have risen sharply, by 130% after the opening of the casino was announced. Chinese investors have traditionally been attracted to destinations with casinos, and this trend is now continuing in the Dubai real estate market.

According to Allsopp & Allsopp, Chinese investment in Dubai’s residential real estate market has increased significantly this year compared to the same period in 2021. The upcoming casino in the UAE seems to be increasing their interest. Dubai is likely to see a greater influx of Chinese investors seeking real estate near gaming facilities.

Richard Waind noted that the introduction of legal gambling has sparked great enthusiasm among investors, particularly in Ras Al Khaimah, where real estate prices have soared. Waind anticipates a sharp increase in new projects in the region, which will enhance the real estate landscape and create the conditions for robust growth.

“Casinos have the potential to boost tourism in Dubai, similar to the success stories of destinations such as Macau and Las Vegas, which show the positive impact such establishments can have on a city’s tourism industry,” concluded Waind.



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