Las Vegas Casino Plans Spark Construction Boom in RAK This Past Year

For nearly a decade, the 2.7 sqm artificially constructed Ras Al-Khamaih, part of the islands of Marjan built by Dubai, has seen a series of unfortunate missed commercial opportunities never to be actualized. Such plans included a US$1 billion football-themed resort and a Real Madrid Academy. 

Fast Development

This has changed drastically since last year’s announcement by Wynn Resorts. The latter US company had announced their US$4 billion resort project to see the construction of e Las Vegas Casino. The 40-mile coastline along the Persian Gulf had, until then, mainly attracted Russian citizens to acquire property that is more affordable than Dubai’s mainland.

Wynn’s resort billion-dollar plan was definitely a kickstarter that saw RAK suddenly dominated by cranes and billboards advertising new apartments, villas, shops, and hotel resorts. Since its creation in 2013, Ras al-Khaimah has never seen such a rapid transformation, which has only been unfolding in less than a year.

Abdulla Al Abdouli, CEO of the state’s entity responsible for developing the Marjan islands, described how over twenty developers are currently designing and constructing commercial projects in the RAK area. Most of these works will be completed in less than six years. 

Expanding Tourism

These plans forecast popular tourist resorts. Discussions are also underway to expand the currently small international airport of Ras Al Khaimah to increase its capacity for 2 million passengers per year, as predicted by 2027. Also, the fact that RAK is just a 4-hour flight away from one-third of the world’s population makes it an accessible destination. This definitely makes it more of an attractive tourist choice.

RAK’s fast development is not a new phenomenon in the UAE, where other non-popular regions that go beyond just Dubai and Abu Dhabi are being developed to attract new tourists and investments. Marjan’s islands’ quick shift attests to UAE’s commercial ambitions and potential. This also means that the casino culture can see potential shifts in legitimizing the industry, including the online one.

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