Rolling the dice: Everything we know about the UAE's first casino
The house always Wynns…
With the recent news that the UAE is setting up a governmental body to conceive and operate regulations for commercial gaming, it felt like the perfect time for us to ‘slot’ together what we know about the only casino confirmed for the region so far, Wynn Al Marjan Island.
Where in the UAE is Wynn Al Marjan Island?
You’ve probably already made the safe cognitive bet that Wynn Al Marjan Island is destined for Al Marjan Island. But just in case you’re unfamiliar with this neck of the UAE, we’ve got a handy fact file for you. Al Marjan, found at the Ajman/Sharjah end of the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), which puts it at about an hour’s drive from Downtown Dubai. Al Marjan Island is actually a network of four separate man-made islands, built with 2.7 million sqm of reclaimed sand.
Interestingly, this will be Wynn Resorts’ first beachfront property.
When can we expect to visit Wynn Al Marjan Island?
First announced in January 2022, Wynn Al Marjan Island will be the brand’s first property the Middle East when it opens in early 2027.
Work is already underway, as detailed in the Wynn Resorts, Limited Reports Second Quarter 2023 Results (published August 9), Craig Billings, CEO of Wynn Resorts, Limited mentioned: “On the development front, we were excited to begin construction on Wynn Al Marjan Island, which we believe will be a ‘must see’ tourism destination in the UAE.”
Will there be gaming at Wynn Al Marjan Island?
It certainly looks that way. Wynn Resorts CEO, Billings even went as far as saying that the casino component was “shaping up to be somewhat larger than Wynn Las Vegas, during an earnings call in September 2022. That combined with the UAE’s new board being set up to build the regulatory framework for commercial gaming; and the resort’s self-described listed features including “a gaming area”, means it’s no real gamble to assume the answer is yes.
How big will Wynn Al Marjan Island be?
Massive. We know its tower will peak at an impressive 305 metres above the sea, that’s a whopping size for an island build. To give you a sense of scale, the tallest building on Palm Jumeirah, Palm Tower, is 240 metres high – and its views are absolutely mesmeric.
Within that towering leisure monolith, we can look forward to a vacationing space with 1,500 rooms, suites and villas.
How much will it cost to build?
Estimates put the cost of the project at USD3.9 billion (Dhs14.32 billion).
What sort of entertainment can we expect at Wynn Al Marjan Island?
Aside from the gaming aspect, entertainment will come in the form of a theatre hosting unique productions (come on over Britney), and daily light and laser shows; brand-standard indulgent spa and wellness experiences; as well as luxury-brand shopping opportunities.
What dining experiences await at Wynn Al Marjan Island?
We have no details on which specific food and beverage partners will be joining the resort just yet, but – projected specification suggest a portfolio of “24 dining and lounge experiences”.
And the culinary dimension is a large part of Wynn’s identity as a hospitality icon, the Las Vegas resort has a world renowned breakfast buffet, 10 individual fine dining restaurants including Cipriani, Sinatra, Mizumi, Wing Lei, SW Steakhouse and Sarah Thompson’s Casa Playa. Some of which you can also find in the Macau Wynn location too.
So it isn’t a huge stretch to think we might get a Mizumi or Wing Lei RAK. These details are of course all still to be confirmed. Roll on 2027.
Images: Wynn Resorts