The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is on the verge of making history as it gears up for the launch of the United Arab Emirates’ first legal casino in 2027. This ambitious venture, a colossal 18,500-square-meter gaming complex, will be part of a luxurious resort masterminded by Wynn Resorts, featuring a staggering 1,500 rooms on Al Marjan Island.
The news of this groundbreaking gaming industry announcement has sparked a surge in investment activity and has piqued the interest of reputable developers who were not previously present in the emirate. As demand grows, economic growth skyrockets, and major infrastructure projects take shape, Ras Al Khaimah’s real estate sector is experiencing a significant transformation.
According to Simon Quinton, Off-plan Manager, Residential Brokerage at Colliers MENA, the presence of the world’s largest casino is not only set to revolutionize the local real estate landscape but also position the city as a thrilling and lucrative property market in the UAE. He envisions an influx of tourists and visitors, driving up demand for residential properties and making it an enticing market for buyers, investors, and developers looking to capitalize on expanding opportunities.
The impact of the upcoming luxury casino resort is expected to be far-reaching, with property prices projected to rise, benefiting both property owners and investors. Additionally, the development of the casino is likely to spur infrastructure improvements, including enhanced transportation links, amenities, and public facilities, further enhancing the area’s allure.
To bolster the casino’s prospects, the emirate’s government has taken a proactive step by establishing the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Entertainment and Gaming Regulation, signaling its commitment to making the venture a resounding success.
As a result of the casino’s impending launch, Ras Al Khaimah’s domestic tourism experienced a considerable boost, with residents from Abu Dhabi and Dubai flocking to the emirate for staycations, hiking trips, and glamping experiences. The city has witnessed steady growth, welcoming over 1.13 million overnight arrivals in 2022, representing a remarkable 15.6% increase from the previous year and surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
The hospitality industry has also flourished, with major players like Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), Movenpick, and Radisson brands entering the market, resulting in a substantial 17% annual growth rate in hotel supply.
What many might not be aware of is that Ras Al Khaimah’s journey towards becoming a world-class tourism destination began as early as 2004, with ambitious plans already underway for the now under-construction 1,500-room Wynn hotel and responsible gaming resort. This strategic development has not only improved the emirate’s fortunes but also shifted its appeal as an investment location in the minds of high-net-worth individuals (HNWI).
Knight Frank’s Faisal Durrani, Partner and Head of Middle East Research, revealed that a survey of HNWI attitudes toward the emirate indicated that a significant majority were undeterred by the gaming resort’s launch, and many found Ras Al Khaimah even more attractive as a property investment destination.
In 2023, Ras Al Khaimah’s real estate market has experienced noteworthy shifts in demand and preferences. Property Finder’s proprietary data highlights a growing interest in property ownership, particularly villa rentals. Top areas searched for apartments include Al Hamra Village and Al Marjan Island, with substantial increases in demand compared to the previous year.
The city’s land and properties sector has seen an astounding 45% surge in transactions during the first half of 2022 alone, amounting to AED 4 billion, largely driven by the multi-million-dollar Wynn deal.
Meanwhile, Dubai’s property market is also experiencing a boom, boasting AED 179.4 billion in real estate sales transactions. With world-class infrastructure, excellent connectivity, and proactive government policies, Dubai has garnered the attention of investors from beyond its traditional cohort, attracting investments in the realm of luxury residential properties.
As the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah continues to embark on its transformational journey, all eyes are on the upcoming casino development, which promises to catapult the city to premium destination status, rivaling Dubai’s allure and attracting more of the world’s wealthy to its shores. With its real estate sector witnessing remarkable growth, Ras Al Khaimah is undoubtedly on the cusp of a thrilling and prosperous future.