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Mon 8 Mar 2010 01:31 PM

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Casinos would boost Dubai hotels - exec

EXCLUSIVE: Accor boss claims some of his hotels would not survive without gambling revenues.

Casinos would boost Dubai hotels - exec
SUGGESTION: Casinos in Dubai would boost the hotel industry, according to the COO of Accor Hospitality and CEO of Sofitel Worldwide.

A global hotel chief has controversially claimed thatDubai would attract more business to its hospitality sector if it introduced casinos to the emirate.

“When you are in Dubai the difference between Las Vegas and Dubai is the gambling basically,” Yann Caillère, the chief operating officer of Accor Hospitality and CEO of Sofitel Worldwide, told Arabian Business.

Caillère said that if Dubai hotels were allowed to introduce casinos they would help to boost revenues. Gambling is illegal in the UAE and forbidden under Islamic law.

“Yes of course… it would bring more business,” he said, pointing out that Accor runs casinos in hotel in other Arab countries such as Egypt and Morocco.

He said the casino in Cairo was “doing very well” and that some of the group’s hotels would not survive without the money they generate from gambling.

However, Caillère said it was unlikely that casinos would be introduced in the Middle East as it is a culturally sensitive issue.

“I think talking about gambling in this area has nothing to do with business," he said. “It depends on the country, you have gambling in the casino in Morocco… [but] I think in the Middle East it is a control problem.”

Accor Hospitality Middle East has a portfolio of 32 hotels in nine countries and manages brands such as Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, Adagio, MGallery, Mercure, Suitehotel and ibis. It currently has another nineteen hotels currently under development and due for completion by 2012.

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MM 10 years ago

Please, NO CASINO. Instead of Casinos lets complete all the Dubailand projects and themeparks which is enough to keep hotels busy.

ali 10 years ago

Go to your Vegas and open Casino...not dubai...we don't want to be like Vegas or Cairo or Morocaco..we are Dubai..number 1 in the world and things will get better Inshallah soon

Pat Davis 10 years ago

I hope that never happens as it will bring all kinds of problems to Dubai such as money laundring, gambling addiction, broken families. Only the hotels will benefit from it. I say thanks but no thanks.

Paul. 10 years ago

As a western person, i too don't want casinos here, but please don't say we(westerners) have a "POLICY TO DESTROY & DAMAGE THE IMAGE OF ISLAMIC CONTIRES..." i have lived here 5 years and still love this part of the world.... my policy is to live life, i can pick faults here also, but i won't. If there should be a casino it should be out on the world project some were away from mainland Dubai..... I don't here of too much crime in Monaco and that has a very well known casino, not all bad eggs sit together. they come from lots of different nests......

ZAINUDDIIN 10 years ago


Tim 10 years ago

Of course Casinos would be a great boost to the hospitality business in Dubai. You have everything else in Dubai, so why not Casinos ? As far as the 'culturally sensitive issues' are concerned it is simple to deal with. Many countries, like Egypt, do not allow locals in the Casinos whatsoever - in fact you can be asked to show your passport on entry to prove that you are not a local ! This removes any problems about locals being exposed to these 'culturally sensitive issues' - it's a win-win situation. Dubai has always been a regional trend-setter - and it's only a matter of time before the first casinos will open here.

john john 10 years ago

Drinking alcohol is haram but allowed in hotels; so why not gambling?

arw 10 years ago

don't we all gamble every day with our lives in the lottery of driving on the roads in this country

Nik Bob 10 years ago

Dubai must shed its old skin and acquire a new one where Haram does not exist if it wants to reclaim its lost glory.

vrmr 10 years ago

We are all living in a good environment and some are trying to have good life. please dont introduct casino's for the benefits of the owners. I humbly request to hotel owners and government officials dont allow these gamblings which inturn young generation will lead to alcohol, gambling and bad name to the society.