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Caesars Entertainment to manage 2 luxury hotels in Dubai

A year after MGM Resorts International unveiled plans for a Dubai project, Caesars Entertainment Corp. is following its rival to the Middle Eastern emirate.

The Las Vegas casino giant announced Sunday that it signed a letter of intent with Dubai’s Meraas Holding to manage two Caesars-branded luxury hotels and a beach club at the state-owned developer’s Bluewaters Island project.

Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and Caesars Bluewaters Dubai are scheduled to open later this year on the man-made island’s beachfront. Amenities will include restaurants, bars, indoor and outdoor pools, and convention space.

They would be Caesars’ first nongaming hotels and have 479 rooms combined, a fraction of the size of its Las Vegas megaresorts.

Among them, Caesars Palace has 3,970 rooms, the Flamingo has 3,460 and Paris Las Vegas has 2,920, according to a securities filing.

Meraas group chairman Abdulla Al Habbai said in Sunday’s announcement that the “landmark arrangement” with Caesars “is a significant achievement for the emirate’s thriving hospitality and entertainment sectors.”

Caesars President and CEO Mark Frissora said his group expects Bluewaters Island to “evolve into the region’s top hospitality, dining and entertainment destination.”

The announcement did not say whether the resorts are under construction.

Caesars and Meraas did not respond Monday to requests for further comment.

The entry to Dubai follows MGM Resorts’ announcement, in March 2017, that subsidiary MGM Hospitality was hired to help develop a 2 million-square-foot resort on Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach and to operate it when finished.

State-controlled Wasl Asset Management Group brought in MGM for the 26-acre project, which, according to the announcement, will feature an MGM hotel, MGM Residences and Bellagio hotel.

The news release did not say when the resort was scheduled to open, but it said that MGM and Wasl officials had “presented” the development to Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

MGM did not respond Monday to a request for comment on its project.

The Las Vegas casino operator already had close ties to the emirate. The company, when still known as MGM Mirage, announced in 2007 that government-controlled Dubai World would put $2.7 billion into its CityCenter project for 50 percent ownership and buy as much as $2.4 billion worth of MGM stock.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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