The US hotel operator Wynn Resorts’ upcoming gaming and integrated resort in Ras Al Khaimah will be bigger than its Las Vegas facility, according to its chief executive.

Craig Scott Billings said the foundation work on the property will begin in the middle of next year.

“We are advancing quickly on our planning for Al Marjan Island integrated resort in the UAE. We are in the late stages of programming for the resort. Given the pristine beach settings in the somewhat malleable nature of the man-made island, we have an incredible canvas with which to work and design something truly unique,” Billings said during a conference call.

He expects to share rendering, programming and plans more publicly in early 2023.

The multi-billion dollar integrated resort will be the first project by the US company in the Middle East and North Africa region. In a statement in January 2022, the company announced the Ras Al Khaimah hotel project’s scheduled opening in 2026. The project will feature a luxury hotel with over 1,000 rooms, a shopping mall, a meeting and convention facility, a spa, more than 10 restaurants and lounges and a “gaming areas”.

“We will be driving piles for the foundation of the property in the middle of next year. We look forward to sharing more details with you of this exciting project in due course,” Billings said during the conference call with investors and analysts after the third-quarter 2022 results.

The new integrated resort on one of the “exclusive islands” covers an area of almost 250,000 sqm. It has sandy beaches and a marina.

“The more time we spent (in the UAE), the more we believe in non-gaming elements of the (UAE) market. It is a tremendous non-gaming leisure and luxury market."

“Given it is a man-made island, it is a flexible location. For example, if you want to move the beach, you move the beach. It is a really exciting project and we sought to maximise the relationship of the facility to the surroundings, particularly in the non-gaming amenities like food and beverages and wellness and taking advantage of the unique location,” said Billings.

“We will be operating on our own which makes it quite exciting and it’s shaping up to be somewhat larger than Wynn Las Vegas,” he said, adding that the property will be a stunner.

Wynn Resorts chief executive said they are fully focused on UAE to get it right. “It is a very high return opportunity.”

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