Atif Nader
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Atif Nader
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A native of the UAE with over a decade in the casino industry, Atif Nader stands as a leading voice in iGaming. Graduating from the University of Dubai, he seamlessly merged academic brilliance with his passion for gaming. As a vital contributor to Dubai Casinos, Atif's expert insights guide users throughout their gambling journey, ensuring trustworthiness and strategic play. With Atif on board, you're in expert hands.
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Dubai To Become 'Las Vegas of the Middle East'

Cover image for post Dubai To Become ‘Las Vegas of the Middle East’
Dubai To Become ‘Las Vegas of the Middle East’
Dubai To Become ‘Las Vegas of the Middle East’

Dubai might evolve into the Middle East’s answer to Las Vegas, following the appointment of a new gaming authority in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There’s rising speculation that the country will decriminalize gambling, paving the way for resort-style casinos. This move aims to triple the UAE’s tourism revenue, potentially allowing foreign investors to establish hotel resorts where tourists can gamble.

Dubai, known for its luxurious skyscrapers, extensive highways, and desert backdrop, shares similarities with Nevada’s Las Vegas. The city, which has transformed into a hub for the affluent, already houses a Caesars Palace, albeit without gaming facilities. Additionally, MGM Resorts is developing a hotel, hinting at its potential conversion into a casino if regulations change.

While Islam forbids gambling and current UAE laws impose strict penalties for it, insiders suggest that the UAE might introduce conditions to accommodate religious concerns, possibly by preventing Emirati citizens from accessing casinos.

Andrew Tottenham of Tottenham and Co. remarked that legalizing gambling is a logical step considering Dubai’s current trajectory. The nation is heavily investing in tourism, aiming to diversify from oil dependency and compete with emerging Gulf states. Tourism presently contributes nine per cent to the UAE’s GDP, with aspirations to boost this significantly by 2031.

Gaming experts anticipate the UAE’s annual gambling revenue could approach $7 billion, nearing Las Vegas’s record figures. However, the UAE might cater to a more affluent audience, emphasizing table games and premium experiences over slots, making it more akin to Singapore’s high-end casino model.

Intriguingly, the first gaming-focused hotel in the UAE, a project by Wynn Resorts, is set to open in 2027, not in Dubai but in Ras al Khaima. The establishment will prioritize luxury shopping and entertainment, with the gaming area constituting a minor portion of its overall space.

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