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Wynn Resorts’ joint IR project construction to ‘significantly’ boost Ras Al Khaimah GDP: Fitch

The ongoing Wynn Resorts joint integrated resort project in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), UAE is expected to provide significant short-term growth momentum to the emirate, and serve as a catalyst to attract further investment, Fitch Ratings predicted in a recent analysis.

State-owned enterprises RAK Hospitality Holding and Marjan LLC partnered with Wynn Resorts to develop the Middle East’s first integrated resort on Al Marjan Island, slated to open in early 2027. Ras Al Khaimah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.

Fitch Ratings has recently upgraded Ras Al Khaimah’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating to ‘A+’ from ‘A’, maintaining a stable outlook, a decision it said reflects stronger medium-term growth forecasts, resilience to external shocks, and prospects of increased fiscal revenue thanks to large investment projects and economic diversification.

‘This project is expected to boost real GDP growth significantly over the next few years and attract further investment. The combination of new investments and upcoming tax legislation changes is anticipated to support public revenue’ Fitch Ratings pointed out.

Fitch estimates that the construction phase will boost RAKs real GDP growth by 1 percentage point in 2023, 2 percentage points in 2024 and 2 percentage points in 2025.

The cost of the integrated resort was initially estimated at $3.9 billion, or 32 percent of RAK’s GDP in 2022.

‘The announcement of two other master plans, RAK Central and Beach District, in January 2024 has already raised some interest from domestic and foreign investors. This also contributes to a robust medium-term growth forecast of 6.2 percent in 2024 and 5 percent in 2025,’ the report described.

Last year the UAE took a decisive step towards the legalization of gaming in the country by creating a General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) headed by Jim Murren, former chairman of the American Gaming Association and late CEO of MGM Resorts International.

Fitch added that RAK benefits from its membership in the UAE, sharing the federation’s monetary and exchange-rate system and receiving significant federal support, which helps compensate for the lack of external sector data.

The emirate also scored highly in political stability, rule of law, institutional quality, and control of corruption, reflecting its alignment with the ‘UAE’s strong governance standards’.

Nelson Moura
Nelson Mourahttp://agbrief.com
Editor and reporter with 10 years of experience in Greater China, namely Taiwan and Macau, in printed and online media, with a focus on finance, gaming, politics, crime, business and social issues.

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