In a Tuesday press conference, Investment holding company Melco International Development Ltd (200:Hong Kong) revealed that on June 8, 2018, a groundbreaking ceremony would precede the start of construction work on Europe’s first integrated casino resort. City of Dreams Mediterranean, as it’s been dubbed, will be developed in the city of Limassol, situated on the southern coast of Cyprus.

In a statement during Tuesday’s press conference, Melco International Development Ltd chairman and chief executive officer, Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, reportedly said, “The project is going well, and it’s a busy month for us. We will have a media event on June 8 … about the groundbreaking [ceremony] in Cyprus.

Held in Macau at the Grand Hyatt, the press conference was regarding the June 15, 2018, targeted opening of the US$1.1 billion Morpheus, the new ultra-luxurious hotel at City of Dreams in Macau. The Hong-Kong listed firm is reportedly working closely with the government of Macau to see that it obtains all of the required licenses for the hotel designed by late Dame Zaha Hadid.

Announced in January (pdf), City of Dreams Mediterranean will reportedly feature luxury villas, a five-star hotel with 500 hotel rooms, 11 restaurants and cafeterias and 9,600-square meters (103,333 square feet) of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), alongside a 70,000 square foot casino offering approximately 136 tables and 1,200 gaming machines. The facility, which reportedly comes with a €550 million (US$651.8 million) price tag, is being developed by a 75% – 25% consortium, Integrated Casino Resorts Cyprus Consortium, comprising Melco International Development Limited and The Cyprus Phassouri (Zakaki) Limited.

During the press conference, Ho reportedly said that Melco would additionally be launching a temporary gaming facility in Cyprus this summer, two and a half years ahead of the permanent IR, according to GGRAsia.

In the January press release, Melco informed that the Mediterranean style resort is projected to attract 300,000 tourists annually and that after its second year of operation, is estimated to have an impact on Cyprus economy that amounts to which around 4% of the country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP).

GGRAsia reports that last week during the Japan Gaming Congress in Tokyo, it was told by Melco International CFO Geoffrey Davis that a temporary gaming facility would be launched in Cyprus by the company in June.

“City of Dreams Mediterranean will showcase our ability to customise our integrated resort development in a way that makes the integrated resort appropriate for the individual market,” Davis reportedly told GGRAsia.

Earlier this month, Melco International named gaming and entertainment industry veteran Craig Ballantyne as property president of the coming Cyprus IR where he will be responsible for ensuring that the venue’s day to day operations are conducted in keeping with the regulations and legislation of Cyprus, according to the Cyprus Mail online news outlet.

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