Las Vegas comes to Dubai with Caesar’s Palace deal

Caesars Entertainment and Meraas plan to open two Caesars Hotels & Beach Club resorts in Dubai. The hotels will be the first non-gaming properties to carry the Caesars brand.
Updated 15 April 2018
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Las Vegas comes to Dubai with Caesar’s Palace deal

  • Plan envisages 479 five star hotel rooms
  • First Caesar resort in region without gaming

Caesar’s Palace, the legendary Las Vegas entertainment venue, has teamed up with Dubai developer Meraas to create its first hotel and leisure resort in the Middle East.

The American hotel operator — known for its sumptuous recreation of life under the Roman emperors — will be the main attraction on the Bluewater Island development off Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Resort, with two hotels, two apartment buildings, a beach club and other entertainment facilities to open by the end of the year.

Bob Morse, president of Caesar’s Entertainment hospitality division, told Arab News that the development was its first in the region, and the first without gaming facilities — a significant revenue stream elsewhere in the world but forbidden under Islamic law.

“In Vegas, around 60 percent of our revenue is from non-gaming activities. We are a company that is increasingly morphing into hospitality,” he added.

Entertainment on Bluewater would consist of restaurants, food and beverage, live shows and possibly a show theater along the lines of the big Las Vegas attractions. “We want facilities that change from family oriented during the day to 21-plus in the evening,” he added.

The plan will see the creation of 479 five star hotel rooms on the island, which is connected by a roadway to the mainland. The island already has the biggest Ferris wheel in the world, the Dubai Eye, which is in the final stages of testing.

Morse said that Caesar’s was aware of the changes under way in Saudi Arabia, which include a big focus on new leisure and entrainment activities, but had not held any talks with potential partners to bring the Las Vegas concept to the Kingdom.

“Everything the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is doing makes the Saudi market more appealing than it was a year ago. We’re very excited about the Saudi market as a whole, with all the changes going on. It makes sense to go in now when it didn’t make sense to do so before,” he said.

Morse said that Caesar’s had been in talks with Dubai authorities for two years over the project, attracted by the emirate’s position as a financial and resort center for the Middle East.

Abdullah Al-Habbai, chairman of Dubai government owned Meraas, said: “The deal with Caesar’s is a significant achievement for the emirate’s thriving hospitality and entertainment sectors.”


China sorghum imports jump after Beijing dropped probe into US shipments: Customs

Updated 23 July 2018
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China sorghum imports jump after Beijing dropped probe into US shipments: Customs

  • China brought in 450,000 tons of sorghum in June, up from last year’s 324,301 tons
  • Corn buyers, meanwhile, scooped up cargoes on worries over the return of US-China trade policy tit-for-tat amid high domestic prices

BEIJING: China’s sorghum imports in June surged 38.1 percent on year, boosted by a temporary easing of Sino-US trade tensions, while corn imports for the month rose to one of highest levels in the past decade, customs data showed on Monday.
China brought in 450,000 tons of sorghum in June, up from last year’s 324,301 tons. Volumes were still down slightly from 470,000 tons in May, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
Beijing announced in mid-April that importers of sorghum from the United States would have to put up a 178.6 percent deposit on the value of shipments. Several cargoes already on the way changed course and were diverted to other markets.
A month later in a goodwill measure, however, China dropped the deposit and an anti-dumping probe into US sorghum imports as the two sides appeared to be reaching consensus on resolving trade issues.
“Some cargoes were already on the way to China when Beijing dropped the deposit. Then they cleared customs in weeks after. That should have pushed up the June volumes,” said Cherry Zhang, an analyst with Shanghai JC Intelligent Co. Ltd, before the data release.
Corn buyers, meanwhile, scooped up cargoes on worries over the return of US-China trade policy tit-for-tat amid high domestic prices.
Corn imports in June hit 520,000 tons, up 34.6 percent from a year ago and the second highest since July last year. The figures were down from 760,000 tons in May, the data showed.
The corn imports in the first six months tripled to 2.21 million tons, already close to China’s total 2017 purchase of 2.82 million tons of the grain, according to the data.
“There were margins importing corn as domestic corn prices were relatively high. And buyers were buying more corn in recent couple of months to prepare for the Sino-US trade tension in advance,” said Meng Jinhui, an analyst with Shengda Futures.
UScorn and sorghum shipments to China should drop significantly in July and August, analysts and traders said, as Beijing imposed a 25 percent tariff on US grains on July 6.
China buys almost all its sorghum imports from the United States.
In the first half of this year, China has brought in 3.25 million tons of sorghum, up 8.7 percent from the same period of 2017, the data showed.
China also brought in 590,000 tons of barley in June, down 5.6 percent from a year ago. Barley imports for the first half of the year were at 4.4 million tons, down 2.7 percent.
Wheat imports were at 310,000 tons in June, down 33.6 percent from a year ago. Wheat imports for the first half were at 1.95 million tons, down 26.4 percent, the data showed.
China bought 280,000 tons of sugar and 98,566 tons of pork in June. In the first half of the year, China’s sugar imports were at 1.38 million tons, and shipments of pork were at 647,985 tons, both down from last year’s levels.