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Dubai Casinos: Will the dream become a reality?


In the United Arab Emirates, the city of Dubai remains to be the main attraction of the country in touristic and economic terms. Even though it is not actually the capital of the UAE, the city has gained an infamous reputation for being a wonder to be visited by people worldwide due to its luxurious hotels, entertainment parks, extraordinary urban architecture, and its fancy approach to everything related to large living, including its night-life. Dubai’s night-life is a huge attraction of the city, as bars and clubs are spread across the city and tourists rush in to explore them.

However, many tourists are used to the night-life being accompanied by Casinos. Tourists who rush in from Europe, the USA, Asia, or even Australia or any semi-liberal part of the world have a certain expectation, and many place their bets on the fact that Dubai has active casinos on its grounds. It remains a fact though, Dubai does not have a single betting or gambling facility on its grounds, and the case might remain like that for a long time.

State of Gambling in Dubai

There are many hotel and entertainment brands that have landed in Dubai in recent years that mainly operate as casinos outside. For example, let us take Caesars Entertainment Corp. A company that has a long history in running casinos in Las Vegas under Caesars Palace and many other names. However, once it announced its arrival and opening of the Caesars brand in Dubai, there was no sign of any casino facilities whatsoever on its table.

It remains a fact that the Dubai department of tourism and commerce is completely standing against any attempts over large international brands opening casinos in the city. With all its liberal tendencies, Dubai remains to be the desert city operated by Islamic law, and sometimes its strictly applied and to its maximum degree.

It seems that gambling is where Dubai draws the line. Alchohol and the mixing of sexes might be allowed through its streets at the night time, but the city remains firm about its policies regarding gambling and casinos in its Arabic culture. The native locals of the city, who compromise a smaller than usual number compared to immigrants and tourists, all remain of the conservative type.

The locals are glad money is pouring in but they will not stand any grand change like gambling being introduced in Dubai. Perhaps that is why the department of tourism abides by the no casino rule, it wants to keep its reputation amongst its majority conservative population intact and satisfied. Another example can show the resilience of such traditions, in 2018, MGM Resorts announced a 26-acre entertainment resort in the country, but no casinos or gambling facilities were announced.

Recent news about Dubai casinos

In recent reports, Issam Kazim, the head of Dubai’s tourism and commerce departments, has announced that Dubai has no plans in the near future to open up the grounds for gambling and casinos in its facilities. The Dubai Expo 2020 is on the verge and that alone is going to bring the city a lot of new attention from new types of global economic players. Perhaps Kazim and other upper-echelon personas don’t see the necessity for such a major change to happen, to bring in casinos is to purposefully influence the type of tourists that will visit the country. It also hints at new law drafts to be made and even new tax legislations for such facilities, and many think Dubai is just not ready for that right now or in the near future.

“No there is not a desire for casinos … We need to bear in mind that there are cultural things that are a priority to us,” Kazim said in his recent statement about the state of gambling and casinos in the country. Here we stress upon the word “desire”, which indicates that if the city wishes then casinos will materialize from dream to reality. However, it seems Dubai is headed in the other direction.

With the Dubai Expo 2020 expectations to attract more than 20 million tourists next year. The hype is on for the city to prove itself again after a series of silent economic struggles that it went through since 2008. In regards to bets and gambling, Dubai is still a no-go on many departments. However, it is said to have the ambition to present a similar experience to the casino luxury experience. How will it implement it? all bets are on with Dubai!

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