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MGM wins bid to build destination resort in Dubai

MGM is taking its luxury hospitality business to the Persian Gulf.

The casino giant has won the rights to develop and operate a beachfront destination resort in Dubai under MGM and Bellagio branding, the company announced Monday morning.

The 26-acre development will consist of an MGM Hotel, MGM Residence and a Bellagio Hotel. It will be situated along Jumeirah Beach – a world-renowned white sand beach district that is home to numerous luxury properties and even a seven-star hotel.

While the development will not have a casino gaming component in accordance with local culture and laws, it is a significant step toward building a footprint in a region known for its luxury and opulent tastes.

“We are excited and honored by the opportunity to introduce our incredible brands in one of the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations. This marks the first time we will offer multiple MGM luxury brands at a prime beachfront location,” said Bill Hornbuckle, President of MGM Resorts.

“This agreement, which makes us the development advisor and operator, reflects our commitment to remaining disciplined and focused in our investments while continuing to advance our brand of entertainment resorts in markets around the world,” he continued.

The development will span two million square feet and feature a theater, a mix of fine and casual dining options, specialty retail offerings, traditional and interactive museums, a beach club and adventure activities for adults and children. The hotels will have 1,000 rooms and 10 villas.

MGM, in a press release, claimed that the project “will occupy the longest stretch of waterfront ever developed in Dubai serving as the “anchor” of the expansive beach.

The property’s construction and operations will be handled by MGM Hospitality, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts.

For the project, MGM partnered with wasl Asset Management Group, real estate management firm that manages a portfolio of more than 5,500 hotel rooms and hotel-apartments in Dubai – the largest city in the United Arab Emirates.

“wasl is proud to be working in partnership with such an internationally acclaimed hotel and resort operator; it is a major milestone and we are very excited to be bringing MGM Resorts on our journey to making Dubai the world’s best city to visit, work and live in,” said Hesham Al Qassim, CEO of wasl.

“The collaboration also fulfils wasl’s mandate to attract global hospitality players to Dubai, where we are constantly striving to raise the bar in the city by offering tourists, residents and visitors ever more sensational hospitality and entertainment experiences,” he added.