In a first for the UAE, the emirate of Ras al Khaima will create a new Department of Entertainment and Gaming Regulation within its existing Tourism Development Authority to oversee what they are calling “integrated resorts,” or developments that will feature casinos and gaming.
Gambling has thus far been banned across the UAE, so the move by Ras al Khaima is quite a progressive development. The first property to receive the green light from the new department is Wynn Resorts, the Las Vegas-based casino, resort, and entertainment conglomerate founded in 2002 by Steve Wynn.
The new development is scheduled to open in 2026 on Marjan Island and will include over 1000 rooms and suites, a mall, a conference and convention center, and various other dining and entertainment offerings in addition to the UAE’s first Vegas-style casino.
Commenting on the company’s choice of Marjan Island for its first foray into a seaside resort outside of the USA, Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings noted, “Al Marjan Island is a pristine setting and an ideal greenfield location for us to create the one-of-a-kind guest experiences for which Wynn Resorts is renowned. The region offers tremendous potential for the hospitality and tourism industry, and we are excited about the prospect of developing an integrated resort in Ras Al Khaimah.”