Dubai has no current plans to allow gaming, an official said on Wednesday according to a report on Zawya, a Dubai based media house. The clarification comes at time as the neighbouring Emirate Ras Al-Khimah prepares to welcome a resort to be built by the U.S. casino operator Wynn and plans to license the casino activity - a first for the region.
The UAE last year announced sweeping legal reforms aiming to boost its economy, maximize commercial opportunities and enhance social stability. In November, the country approved changes including 40 laws ranging from trade, online security, copyright, residency, narcotics, and other social issues. The amendments in commercial law permit foreign direct investment up to 100%. Earlier, foreign shareholding is permitted to a maximum of 49% of a company.
Dubai remained open to visitors through repeated global pandemic lockdowns and hosted just under 4 million overnight international visitors in the first quarter of this year, up over 200% from the same period a year earlier, reported Zawya. India is among top tourist source for Dubai followed by Russia.
Dubai is the only one of U.S. giant Caesars Entertainment' resorts globally without a casino and a luxury resort by Las Vegas gambling stalwart MGM Resorts International is being built on an artificial island about 10 km away.
Currently, the middle east population goes to the likes of Lebanon's Casino du Liban or some Egyptian hotels to gamble.
The possibility of legalising gambling is expected to be part of transition part of moving away from oil economy by Ras Al-Khimah and remaining Emirates.