UAE Casino Resort Poised to Shine as $1.4 Billion Gaming Revenue Pioneer


In the glittering world of casino gaming, a colossal structure has begun to rise from the sands of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. It is the Wynn Al Marjan Island integrated resort from the prominent Wynn Resorts. Renowned analysts are predicting a potential jackpot of an annual gross gaming revenue up to a mighty $1.4 billion when the resort is in full swing.

Venturing an optimistic forecast, John DeCree and Max Marsh from the esteemed CBRE Capital Advisors made their projections following a recent visit to the emirates. The analysts are anticipating an early opening for the resort in 2027, with a swift ramp-up given the current deficiency in gaming supply in the area.

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They envisage Wynn Al Marjan Island to reach stability by 2030, but the analysts also speculate the property might achieve stability at a much faster rate. With projected gross gaming revenue (GGR) of US$1.38 billion, net revenue of US$1.8 billion, and property EBITDAR before management fees of a staggering US$921 million, the integrated resort promises to be a cash cow.

Considering CBRE’s earnings prediction, with factors such as interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and restructuring or rent costs (EBITDAR) included, the resort is positioned to surpass Wynn’s own earnings projections of $450 million to $600 million for the UAE property.

Presently, the UAE maintains a strict stand against casino gaming. The entire Arab world shares the same view. However, it is the expectation that the Wynn Al Marjan Island Resort will be the pioneer to break this barrier. The granting of gaming permits for the property could potentially spark an approval frenzy for additional casino permits in the UAE.

Should this become a reality, the UAE’s total addressable gaming market, estimated to be $8.5 billion, would place it as the enchanting fourth-largest gaming market globally, outshone only by heavyweights Macau, Nevada, and Singapore.

However, the anticipated economic merriment comes with its caveat. The Wynn Al Marjan Island Resort cannot solely propel the UAE to rank amongst the world’s top gaming markets. To reach those lofty heights, or to even flirt with an $8.5 billion casino market, heavyweight cities like Abu Dhabi or Dubai would likely need approval for integrated resorts.

Potential rivals lurk in the area. Dubai’s Island project at Jumeirah Beach could possibly host an integrated resort managed by MGM Resorts, posing a threat to Wynn’s pioneering attempt.

However, Wynn Al Marjan Island is already ahead in the race against any potential competitors due to timing. It seems the threats might be overstated as eager investors and developers have been devouring land in Ras Al Khaimah, signifying a collective belief in the success of the Wynn property.

Crucially, there is still a veil of uncertainty concerning the UAE’s approval of casinos and the gaming blueprint at the Wynn establishment. Though it is decided that the casino will occupy an ample 4% of the colossal 5.6 million square feet site, it remains to be seen if there would be restrictions on slot machines and table games.

Only the sands of time will reveal how this quintessential game of high-stakes gambles unfolds in the deserts of the UAE. Anticipation, speculation, and the thrill of the unknown seem to be skillfully dealt into this unfolding story of Wynn Al Marjan Island Casino Resort’s roll of the dice.