Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE Image Credit: Wynn Resorts

Ras Al Khaimah: Marjan, Ras Al Khaimah’s Hospitality Holding has signed a multibillion-dollar deal with Wynn Resorts to develop a world-class hotel, entertainment and gaming amenities.

The project, set to be built on Al Marjan island in the UAE emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, comes as the Tourism Development Authority, known as RAKTDA, formed a new division to regulate what it called "integrated resorts" which are set to include gaming facilities, according to a statement from the authority.

The government authority will set the rules for "licensing, taxation, operational procedures, and consumer safeguards” needed to regulate gaming in those resorts, it said. "The foremost priority of this new division is to create a robust framework that will ensure responsible gaming at all levels."

Ras Al Khaimah's Tourism Development Authority said it will consider the "social, cultural, and environmental landscape of the Emirate," as it comes up with regulations.

The planned resort is scheduled to open in 2026 and will include more than 1,000 rooms, along with a gaming area, meeting and convention facilities as well as entertainment options. The resort will be developed with "significant foreign direct investment by Wynn Resorts,” the statement said, without giving a specific figure.

The spectacular Al Marjan Island is only 15 minutes from the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport and 45 minutes from the Dubai International Airport. Comprising four islands, Al Marjan Island delights visitors with over 7.8 kilometres of sparkling beaches and 23 kilometres of waterfront in addition to world-class hotels and residential developments.

Al Marjan Island spans an area of 2.7 million sqm of reclaimed land extending into the Arabian Gulf. The new integrated resort on one of the exclusive islands, which covers an area of almost 250,000 sqm, will offer a pristine setting with spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf as well as sandy beaches and a marina. The development is the first beach resort being developed by Wynn Resorts globally.

The current scope includes a circa 1,000 + room hotel, high-end shopping mall, a state-of-the-art meeting and convention facility, an exclusive spa, more than 10 restaurants and lounges, a wide array of entertainment choices, a gaming area, and other amenities.

The integrated resort will be developed with significant foreign direct investment by Wynn Resorts. As the largest project of its kind in the emirate’s growing hospitality sector, it will create substantial value to the local economy by accelerating tourism, creating jobs, and energising the growth of related sectors.

Abdulla Al Abdooli, CEO of Marjan, said the new integrated resort highlights the fast-growing recognition of Ras Al Khaimah as a leading investment destination for high-quality hospitality projects.

"The integrated development, featuring a world-class hotel, entertainment and gaming amenities, will add to the emirate’s destination strategy to attract tourists from across the world. We are partnering with Wynn Resorts, one of the world’s most renowned integrated resort companies, which has a strong track record of developing luxury destinations with exceptional accommodation, dining, entertainment concepts and gaming facilities. By leveraging Wynn Resorts’ expertise in developing luxury hospitality destinations, the new development will raise the benchmark in luxury hospitality in the region. It will also create exceptional value to the Ras Al Khaimah economy and boost the leisure, business, and MICE tourism sectors," said Abdulla Al Abdooli.

"Al Marjan Island is a pristine setting and an ideal greenfield location for us to create the one-of-a-kind guest experiences for which Wynn Resorts is renown. The region offers tremendous potential for the hospitality and tourism industry, and we are excited about the prospect of developing an integrated resort in Ras Al Khaimah," said Craig Billings, newly appointed CEO of Wynn Resorts.

The new resort is in the initial stages of design and development and will be applying for an integrated resort licence from Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.