Walking down the infamous Las Vegas strip you can see carbon copy replicas of the Egyptian Pyramids and the Sphinx, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, the Venetian canals and even miniature versions of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. How long before Dubai's most iconic landmark, the seven-star Burj al Arab hotel, joins the line-up in the Nevada desert?
Before the global credit crunch scuppered many lavish real estate projects, ambitious Vegas developers wanted to add a replica of Dubai’s iconic Burj al Arab to the roll call of architectural masterpieces.
“We own the design rights and architectural design rights to the Burj Al Arab… Prior to the financial crisis, yes there was talk about doing something,” Gerard Lawless, Jumeirah Group president and CEO told Arabian Business in 2012 on the issue of a Vegas Burj al Arab doppelganger.
With lavish property developments now back in vogue in both Vegas and Dubai, a prominent Vegas real estate expert claimed “it was only a matter of time” before a replica of the sail-shaped hotel would be added to the legendary strip as it would create “high interest” in the glitzy American city.
“While I have not heard any recent rumors regarding a Dubai Burj al Arab miniature hotel in Vegas, I believe such an expansion would create tremendous excitement and appeal here,” said Michael Newman, Managing Director of the Vegas office of global real estate consultancy firm CBRE.
“As you know, new resort development in Las Vegas has slowed in the last three years, but we are beginning to see a resurgence of interest. This is evidenced by current retail and entertainment expansions being constructed by Caesars, the recent acquisition of the [partially construction] Echelon Hotel Resort by the Malaysian-based Genting Corporation and a continued growth in our convention visitor base.
“I do believe that it is only a matter of time before we see the additional growth you suggest and, with the high interest the world has shown regarding the extraordinary Dubai Burj al Arab, Las Vegas would seem to be a natural place to showcase this incredibly artistic and unusual design to its more than 46 million annual visitors.
“That said, I might suggest that a ‘miniature’ reproduction could be an understatement of the interest the Dubai Burj al Arab would bring to Las Vegas. Why not construct a ‘full-size’ replication of this outstanding design?”