Wynn, Marjan bringing gaming resort to UAE

In yet another step to diversify its economy and liberalize its culture, gaming appears to be coming to the UAE for the first time as on Tuesday Marjan, RAK Hospitality Holding and Wynn Resorts announced a multibillion-dollar integrated resort development with more than 1,000 rooms and a gaming area on the man-made Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.

The new development will be the first in the MENA region by Wynn Resorts, as well as Wynn’s first beach resort, and is scheduled to open with the highest standards of sustainability best practices in 2026. The deal also marks the largest-of-its-kind foreign direct investment in Ras Al Khaimah.

At the same time of this announcement, the Ras al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) introduced a new division called the Department of Entertainment and Gaming Regulation, which will regulate “integrated resorts” that include hotel operations, entertainment spaces, restaurants, spas, retail shops, convention areas and gaming.

RAKTDA said it will follow “global best practices in the regulation of gaming that operate as part of integrated resorts across various jurisdictions worldwide.” It added that it will also consider the social, cultural, and environmental landscape of the Emirate and cover licensing, taxation, operational procedures, and consumer safeguards.

Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

“The foremost priority of this new division is to create a robust framework that will ensure responsible gaming at all levels,” the statement said.

The planned destination will feature a luxury hotel with more than 1,000 rooms, shopping, meeting and convention facilities, a spa, more than 10 restaurants and lounges, entertainment choices and other amenities.

The new resort is in the initial stages of design and development and will be applying for an integrated resort license from Ras Al Khaimah Tourism development Authority.

Al Marjan Island spans an area of 2.7 million sqm of reclaimed land extending into the Arabian Gulf. The new integrated resort on one of the islands, which covers almost 250,000 sqm, will offer views of the Arabian Gulf as well as beaches and a marina.

Al Marjan Island, already a tourism destination, is 15 minutes from the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport and 45 minutes from the Dubai International Airport. Comprising four islands, Al Marjan Island has more than 7.8 kilometers of beaches and 23 kilometers of waterfront in addition to hotels and residential developments.