A senior tourism official in Dubai said, on Wednesday, that Dubai has no current plans to allow gambling activities.
This confirmation comes at a time when the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is preparing to welcome a resort being built by an American casino management company, and plans to license the activity, in a first of its kind in the region.
The emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, one of the seven emirates in the Emirates, announced in January that it would organize gambling activities before the arrival of the Wynn Resorts chain, the gambling giant in Las Vegas, in 2026, while speculation was raised that gambling could be allowed in Dubai, where Caesars Palace Resort was opened. in 2018.
“As far as I’m concerned, allowing gambling activities is not imminent for us,” said Kazim, Dubai’s tourism official.
And Caesars Palace Resort in Dubai is the only one of the chain of American Caesars resorts, which does not include a casino. MGM International is building a luxury resort on an artificial island about ten kilometers from Dubai.
The Gulf region usually imposes stricter Islamic rules than other parts of the Middle East, and gambling has long been prohibited, but sources told Reuters they expect the activity to be permitted in some form in the future.
Dubai will be the real prize for casino managers. The data showed that Dubai, which remained open to visitors during repeated global closures due to the pandemic, hosted just under four million international visitors in the first quarter of this year, an increase of more than 200 percent over the same period the previous year.
Figures released on Tuesday showed that hotel occupancy averaged 82 percent in the first quarter, compared to 64 percent last year. In 2021, Dubai hosted 7.28 million visitors, compared to 16.73 million in 2019 before the pandemic.
Visitors from Oman replaced India as the largest source of visitors to Dubai in the first quarter of this year.
Russians ranked fifth with 190,000 visitors, an increase of 91 percent over the previous year.
Kazim said that Dubai was the fourth most visited city in the world before the spread of the pandemic and aspires to reach the fore.