Contracts to construct The Island, a project modeled after Las Vegas, have been given to a property developer in Dubai.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation was given a contract worth AED 4.4 billion ($1.2 billion) by real estate developer Wasl, according to a MEED report.
According to reports, the contract represents the biggest construction agreement in the Emirate since 2017.
The Island in Dubai
The Island is a brand-new 10.5-hectare project located off the coast of Umm Suqeim that has been under development for a number of years. It is estimated to have more than 1,400 hotel rooms and apartments and is close to the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, and public beach.
It is rumored that hotel and hospitality chains Aria, Bellagio, and MGM are planning properties in the development.
Due to the hospitality companies’ long history of working on casino projects and their close ties to Las Vegas, there have been rumors that a casino might open in Dubai.
The United Arab Emirates announced earlier this year the creation of a new federal agency to oversee national lottery and commercial gaming in the nation.
In order to implement a globally exemplary regulatory framework for a national lottery and commercial gaming, the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) was formally established in the United Arab Emirates as a federal authority.
By establishing a socially conscious and well-regulated gaming environment, the GCGRA will make sure that all players follow the highest standards and rigorous rules.
William Hornbuckle, the president and CEO of MGM, announced this month that a project with Wasl was in the works.
In a call with investors, he said: “In Dubai, our partner Wasl, is under construction on a luxury development, including 1,400 hotel rooms with the MGM Grand, Bellagio and Aria brands.
“We currently have a hospitality management deal requiring no capital from us.
“We do see a significant opportunity if gaming were to be legalized, first in UAE and ultimately in Dubai.
“We believe they have the best gaming hospitality brands in the world with the best location in Dubai and our existing project could include a world-class gaming component, if approved.”