New Casino in Ras Al Khaimah Sparks Gold Rush

A year after Wynn Resorts announced plans for a USD 4 billion resort in the United Arab Emirates, the region is bustling with construction activity. Developers are building five-star resorts, shops, and USD 7 million villas, transforming the area into a potential major tourist destination.

Previously, the artificial Marjan Islands off Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) spent a decade as an underutilised investment. The 2.7 square-kilometre area remained mostly vacant after a USD 1 billion football-themed resort and Real Madrid academy project were cancelled.

Today, the landscape is changing rapidly. Construction cranes dot the horizon, and hoardings around sites advertise upcoming homes. Abdulla Al Abdouli, leader of the emirate overseeing the islands, mentioned that at least 20 developers have projects in various stages of design and construction. He expects most of these developments to be completed within six years.

To accommodate the expected large number of visitors, Ras Al Khaimah’s international airport plans to build a new terminal. This expansion aims to increase its capacity to two million passengers annually by 2027, up from the projected 700,000 travellers this year. Remarkably, about one-third of the world’s population resides within a four-hour flight of the emirate.

Ras Al Khaimah, which means “head of the tent” in Arabic, boasts a 40-mile coastline on the Persian Gulf. Historically, it has attracted Russian tourists seeking a more affordable alternative to Dubai. The Marjan Islands, approximately half the size of Dubai’s famous Palm Jumeirah, were completed in 2013.

Original article reference: Bloomberg.

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