Construction work on Europe’s first integrated casino resort in Cyprus will commence next month with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for June 8, Melco Resorts and Entertainment CEO Lawrence Ho announced Tuesday. The temporary casino, designed to work until full completion of the resort, is set to open this summer, he added.
In two and a half years, Cyprus will be home to its first casino resort and the largest resort of its kind in Europe. Being developed by Hong Kong-based Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, the project is named City of Dreams Mediterranean. The news for the groundbreaking ceremony was announced Tuesday by the company’s CEO, Lawrence Ho, during a press conference in Macau. Ho talked about the new hotel tower dubbed Morpheus that is about to open at Melco’s City of Dreams Macau in June. A week before that, on June 8, the company will give the official start for the construction of the Cypriot facility in the City of Limassol.
The investment needed for the new integrated resort is estimated at €550 million. It should be operational in 2021 but until then, Melco will run a temporary casino in Limassol, which is also set to open this summer. During the conference in Macau, Ho also told reporters that once completed, the resort would bring in around 300,000 tourists a year to Cyprus. The project will create approximately 4,000 jobs in construction and when the casino resort opens in 2021, it is expected to create up to 4,500 jobs in the area. This includes positions in the resort itself and indirect jobs in different sectors such as tourism, services, transport, and more.
Ho added that Cyprus could see revenues from the resort worth up to 4 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product. Last year, the Government of Cyprus said it expected the casino resort to bring in around €800 million in contributions during 2022, its second year of operation.
The Largest Casino Resort in the Region
Melco’s City of Dreams Mediterranean is the first integrated casino resort to be built in Cyprus. It is being developed by a consortium, in which the Asian company owns 75 per cent, while the rest of the shares are owned by the local conglomerate Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Ltd. It will be built in Zakaki, Western Limassol, in relative proximity to ports, airports, and to popular shopping and entertainment spots in the city. The integrated resort will feature a luxury hotel with more than 500 five-star rooms, suits and villas, 11 restaurants and bars, as well as around 1,200 sq. m. of retail area designed to replicate the streetscape of the old Nicosia city center.
The casino will have approximately 7,500 sq.m. of gaming area with up to 140 gaming tables and 1,200 slot machines. The resort will also offer a large Expo Center, a meeting and convention space, and numerous recreational options, including a 1,500-seat amphitheater, swimming pools, spa and fitness facilities, sports facilities and a tennis court. The ambitious project will cost approximately €550 million and will be a huge boost for the local tourism sector. Along with the main facility in Limassol, the resort will also operate four satellite casinos in Nicosia, Larnaca, the Free Famagusta Area and Paphos.
Susan Sutton is a writer and an author at CasinoNewsDaily. Her journalism career started back in high school as a writer for the school’s newspaper.