UAE Gaming Outlook Brightens as Caesars Pulls Out of Dubai

Caesars Entertainment Abandons Non-Gaming Hotel in Dubai as New Casino Policy Takes Shape

Posted on: September 13, 2023, 02:38h. 

Last updated on: September 13, 2023, 02:38h.

Caesars Entertainment’s non-gaming hotel in Dubai, which opened in 2018, will be rebranded as Banyan Tree Dubai after Banyan Tree takes over ownership. This move comes as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) shows signs of considering casino gaming.

Caesars Dubai
Caesars Palace Dubai. The non-gaming hotel will be taken over by Banyan Tree. (Image: Arabian Business)

The UAE has recently formed the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) and plans for the first casino resort in the Middle East, Wynn Al Marjan Island, are underway. MGM is also developing a non-gaming hotel in Dubai with potential casino plans in the future.

Caesars’ decision to abandon Dubai raises questions about its international strategy. In the past, the company missed out on opportunities in Macau, which is now the largest casino market in the world.

Caesars’ International History Raises Concerns

CEO Tom Reeg previously stated that Caesars would only consider international expansion if the opportunities were “stupendous.” The UAE presents a potentially lucrative market, given its wealth and popularity as a tourist destination.

However, by leaving Dubai before casino gaming becomes a reality, Caesars risks repeating mistakes from its history. The company missed out on Macau and ultimately had to abandon the Chinese territory.

Uncertainty Surrounds Caesars’ Decision

Caesars’ decision to abandon its Dubai property contradicts previous statements made by CEO Tom Reeg indicating the company’s interest in obtaining a gaming license in the UAE if the opportunity arose.

The financial details of the deal between Caesars and Banyan Tree have not been disclosed. Banyan Tree Dubai will reopen later this year under its new ownership.

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