Caesars Entertainment and Meraas Partner on Dubai Resorts
Caesars Entertainment Corp is planning its first non-gaming resort for the city and emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Caesars announced on Sunday it had signed an agreement to manage 2 luxury hotels and a beach club in Dubai.
Caesars, a Las Vegas casino company famed for Las Vegas Strip resorts like Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Paris Las Vegas, and The Linq, said it had signed a non-binding agreement with Dubai’s Meraas Holding’s hotels on the Bluewaters Island development.
Meraas Holdings has developed countless civic projects and entertainment complexes around the city-state of Dubai, which is a part of the United Arab Emirates. The partnership is a part of Caesars’ new global strategy, now that the company is no longer under the cloud of the CEOC bankruptcy.
Caesars Entertainment’s Properties
Caesars Entertainment owns over 50 casinos across the United States, including the Harrah’s, Ballys, and Horseshoe brands. The company owns 10 casinos in the United Kingdom, including the Rendezvous Casinos in Southend and Brighton, the Sportsman, the Playboy Club London, and Manchester235.
In Canada, the company owns Caesars Windsor. In South Africa, Caesars owns Emerald Resort & Casino. In Egypt, it owns both Caesars Cairo and the London Club Cairo. Caesars CEO Mark Frissora plans to make a bold effort to secure a casino license in Japan.
Meraas Holdings Profile
Meraas is a state-affiliated holding company which had investments in the food, retail, leisure, hospitality, health, and entertainment sectors in Dubai. Meraas owns developments in the city such as Boxpark, the Outlet Village, Kite Beach, and the City Walk.
In the leisure and entertainment industry, Meraas Holdings include the Hub Zero VR headset gaming room, the indoor Mattel Play! Town, Splash Pad kid’s park on the Beach, the Green Planet urban “tropical rain-forest”, and the Roxy Cinemas.
Bluewaters Island Development
The BlueWaters man-made island is the masterpiece among Meraas’s developments. Bluewaters Island is considered a marvel of human engineering, as the entire development exists on reclaimed land (reclaimed from the sea). Van Oord, the Dutch engineering firm famous for the Palm Jumereih, conducted the dredging work.
Construction on Bluewaters Island began in 2013. The plan is to build not just entertainment and hospitality enters, but also residential and retail zones. When completed, Bluewaters Island is expected to attract more than 3 million visitors annually.
Caesars Palace Bluewaters Resort
Located off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Residence and connected to the mainland via the Sheikh Zayed Road, Bluewaters plans a monorail system to transport people to the beachfront area and entertainment zone.
The JBR beachfront is home to the world famous Ain Dubai, the world’s largest observation wheel. The hotels Caesars and Meraas are partnering on will be called the Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and the Caesars Bluewaters Dubai. Between the two of them, the resorts will feature 479 high-dollar hotel rooms, along with 12 restaurants and bars.
Caesars Entertainment Company Profile
Caesars Entertainment has a long and storied history in Las Vegas. Until 2009, the company was named Harrah’s Entertainment. After a leveraged buyout by Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital in 2007, the company faced $30 billion in debt. Trying to change the company’s profile, Apollo changed the brand name to the more famous Caesars brand — best known for the iconic Caesars Palace.
Over the next several years, Caesars bought down the debt to around $23 billion, but eventually had its operating division — Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (CEOC) — declare bankruptcy. The resulting bankruptcy reorganization plan was challenged with a lawsuit by the junior shareholders (holding 20% stake), while the first lienholders holding 80% of CEOC agreed to Apollo and TPG’s terms. The lawsuit took over 2 years to be resolved, with Caesars eventually paying the junior shareholders an additional $5 billion.
Mark Frissora’s Global Plans
With the reorganization behind them, new CEO Mark Frissora has been directing Caesars Entertainment into a bold new era. Frissora visited Japan recently, while hiring Japan experts to lobby lawmakers in that country for a multi-billion dollar integrated casino-resort. The Bluewaters Island project in Dubai is another sign of that bold vision.
Recently, the executives associated with Caesars Entertainment’s parent company — Apollo Global Management — were criticized in the US media for lending $184 million to Jared Kushner after a visit to meet the president’s son-in-law in the White House.