Posted on: November 21, 2023, 03:00h.
Last updated on: November 21, 2023, 01:16h.
Marriott International recently unveiled plans for the JW Marriott Al Marjan Island Resort and JW Marriott Residences Al Marjan Island, which will be located near the under construction Wynn Al Marjan Island in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Marriott development carries an estimated price tag of $1.3 billion and will feature 300 guest rooms and 524 residences. Underscoring the attractive location of the Marriott and Wynn properties, the Marriott venue will be 30 minutes away from Ras Al Khaimah International Airport and an hour’s drive from Dubai International Airport.
We are thrilled to be a part of the new development in Al Marjan Island. It is truly a unique project that will provide an unparalleled experience for visitors and residents alike,” said Jaidev Menezes, regional vice president of mixed-use development in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Marriott International, in a statement. “With its stunning beaches, luxurious outlets and world-class amenities, Al Marjan Island is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after destinations in the world.”
Las Vegas-based Wynn broke ground on Wynn Al Marjan Island earlier this year and is targeting an early 2027 opening date.
Marriott Project Could Push Wynn to Open Sooner
In theory, the JW Marriott Al Marjan Island Resort and JW Marriott Residences Al Marjan Island aren’t direct competitors to Wynn Al Marjan Island because the latter is angling to become the UAE’s first regulated casino hotel.
However, the Marriott announcement stirred speculation that Wynn could look to accelerate its UAE timeline because Marriott is hoping to have its venue open by late 2026.
Wynn Al Marjan Island, which has not yet been awarded a gaming license, is envisioned as one of the world’s largest gaming facilities. The property will include resort amenities, and feature a hotel with 500 rooms and suites and 24 dining options, all featuring ocean views. The property will also have a 1,000-foot-tall tower and several beachfront villas.
Wynn is partnering with RAK Hospitality Holding LLC — a local hotel developer — on the project, and it’s estimated the US company’s stake will be around a third. The project is estimated to cost close to $4 billion.
Marriott UAE Venture Could Bode Well for Wynn
Ultimately, Marriott and Wynn will compete to fill guest rooms, but the former’s venue could benefit the latter by sending guests to the integrated for gaming and entertainment.
Additionally, a traditional US-based hotelier with the gravitas of Marriott entering Al Marjan Island signals that Wynn was indeed shrewd in picking that location — a point recently affirmed by Dubai indicating it will be some time before it considers casino gaming.
Some analysts expect that it’s possible UAE will unveil gaming framework before the end of this year, which could set the stage for approval of Wynn’s casino bid at some point in 2024. The General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) first casino gaming regulator, was formed in September.