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

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.”

Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

Updated 26 June 2019

Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

  • The MF has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy
  • ‘If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained’

MANAMA: IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that major economic growth was possible in the Palestinian territories if all sides showed urgency, as she took part in a US-led conference boycotted by the Palestinian leadership.
The International Monetary Fund has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy, with tax revenue blocked in a dispute with Israel which has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade.
“If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained,” said Lagarde.
The IMF chief is attending a conference in Bahrain to discuss the economic aspects of a United States plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, which has already been rejected by the Palestinians as it fails to address key political issues.
Lagarde said for the US plan to work “it will require all the goodwill in the world on the part of all parties — private sector, public sector, international organizations and the parties on the ground and their neighbors.”
Citing examples of post-conflict countries, Lagarde said that private investors needed progress in several sectors including strengthening the central bank, better managing public finance and mobilizing domestic revenue.
“If anti-corruption is really one of the imperatives of the authorities — as it was in Rwanda, for instance — then things can really take off,” she said.
The plan presented by White House adviser Jared Kushner calls for $50 billion of investment in the Palestinian territories and its neighbors within a decade.
The proposals for infrastructure, tourism, education and more aim to create one million Palestinian jobs.
Gross domestic product in the Gaza Strip declined by eight percent last year, while there was only minor growth in the West Bank.
Kushner, opening the conference on Tuesday, called the plan the “Opportunity of the Century” — and said the Palestinians needed to accept it before a deal can be reached on political solutions.
The Palestinian Authority has rejected the conference, saying that the US and Israel are trying to dangle money to impose their ideas on a political settlement.
Washington says it will unveil the political aspects of its peace deal at a later date, most likely after Israel’s September election.