Dubai World opens non-gaming resort on man-made island

Sep 23, 2008 7:00 PM

Industry Insider by Ray Poirier | Dubai World, the Arabic partner of MGM MIRAGE Inc. (MGM) in the development of CityCenter on the Las Vegas Strip, opens a unique non-gaming elegant resort with another MGM partner, Kerzner International this week.

The $1.5 billion that boasts a $25,000-a-night suite is situated on a palm-tree shaped artificial island in the United Arab Emirates. Its attraction will be international but the property is expected to attract tourists from the South Pacific.

Developers from Sol Kerzner’s privately-held company that owns and operates the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas joined with Dubai’s Nakheel in putting together the property.

Strategy centered on utilizing some of the Atlantis attractions and blending them into the sun-filled conservative Muslim society. The focus is on ocean-themed family entertainment. And, like Atlantis, it contains a giant tank with some 65,000 fish.

The man-made island on which the resort was built now contains only high-end houses and construction sites. However, other international developers have indicated plans to move in as well.

Already Donald Trump has announced plans to open a hotel in the center of the island while the famed ocean liner, QE2 will become a hotel and tourist attraction when it is docked in the area.

Kerzner’s company and MGM MIRAGE, with plans of their own to build a billion-dollar-plus resort at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Boulevard in Las Vegas, both have strong ties to Dubai World. The oil-producing UAE has used some of those proceeds to provide financial assistance to those two companies. Also, Dubai World has added to its hotel inventory by acquiring the W Hotel in Washington, the Fountainbleau in Miami Beach and the Mandarin Oriental in New York City.