Casino gaming will reportedly not be included in what is sure to be a long list of amenities at two Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR) resort hotels coming later this year to the under-construction Bluewaters, a man-made mixed-use island located approximately 1,600 feet off the Jumeirah Beach Residence coastline, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to The Gulf News, Marketing Chief Executive for the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce, Issam Kazim, confirmed that there is no desire to introduce casino gaming at this time and that rather than casinos, they are focused more on a themed ‘destination and experience.’
The American gambling giant is expected to enter Dubai as a hotelier for the first time when the company’s first non-gaming resorts, Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and Caesars Bluewaters Dubai, with a total of 479 hotel keys, open later this year at the $2.1 billion Bluewaters development project.
Unveiled on February 13, 2013, Meraas Holding began construction on the island [Bluewaters] in May 2013 and will reportedly include the $270 million Ain Dubai, a 689 foot tall giant observation wheel, which construction began on in May 2015, alongside nearly 200 retail and dining concepts, residential, hospitality and entertainment zones.
Gulf Business reports that Meraas Holding said that the agreement it signed with Caesars Entertainment was for a ‘family-oriented destination.”
Dubbed the second Caesars Palace, Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai will reportedly (pdf) feature 178 rooms, meeting and convention space, six restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools and a 6,781 square foot spa complete with a dedicated wellness center. Caesars Bluewaters Dubai will reportedly feature 301 rooms, a 9,149 square foot event hall, three restaurants and two outdoor pools.
The two five-star luxury hotels will reportedly share a .27 mile long private beach and open in Q4 this year. While gambling is illegal in the UAE in keeping with Islamic laws, alcohol is still served at restaurants and bars linked to hotels.
Abdulla Al Habbai, Meraas group chairman, said, “The landmark arrangement with Caesars Entertainment, which aims to establish Bluewaters as a world-class tourist attraction with exclusive international entertainment opportunities, is a significant achievement for the emirate’s thriving hospitality and entertainment sectors,” according to the news outlet.
President of Caesars Entertainment, Mark Frissora, said that the deal is expected to make Bluwaters the “region’s top hospitality, dining and entertainment destination”.
Last month, MGM Hospitality, a division of MGM Resorts International, was chosen by the Dubai government-owned real estate management company Wasl Asset Management to develop and operate a 26-acre branded beachfront development. The project will mark the regional debuts of MGM brands MGM Residences and MGM Hotel alongside Dubai’s version of the MGM-owned Bellagio Las Vegas to be located on Jumeirah beach. Spread across the property, there will reportedly be 1,000 rooms and 10 villas.
The location claims to be the longest stretch of waterfront to ever be developed in Dubai and is expected to be completed in 2021.