The groundbreaking ceremony of City of Dreams Mediterranean, Europe’s biggest casino resort, took place n Limassol, on June 8, 2018. The ceremony was attended by President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, the Chairman and CEO of Melco, Lawrence Ho and Managing Director of CNS Group, Melis Shiacolas.
Set to open in Limassol in 2021, the resort will offer a range of attractions and entertainment options beyond gaming, including recreation and MICE facilities (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) currently not available in Cyprus, making City of Dreams Mediterranean a must-visit destination.
The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades referred to a historic day, “marking a major milestone for Cyprus and I cannot but feel extremely satisfied of what the joint collaboration of public and private sectors have achieved: to fast track the necessary procedures so as by 2021 Cyprus’ first integrated resort, a landmark for Cyprus but also for the wider region, will be fully operational.” Furthermore, in his address, Chairman and CEO of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Mr Lawrence Ho, said, “The ceremony marks the beginning of the construction of City of Dreams Mediterranean, Europe’s largest Integrated Casino Resort, and Melco’s first expansion outside Asia. I am honoured and grateful for the trust the Cypriot government has placed in Melco and CNS to carry out this ambitious and exciting project. Today, we are not just laying the foundation stone of the ICR, but also entering a new era for Limassol, and for Cyprus as a whole. Our project will contribute significantly to the country’s efforts for sustainable economic growth and an increase in employment rates”.
President Anastasiades also said that City of Dreams Mediterranean constituted the biggest investment project undertaken in Cyprus.
Officially, the contract for Cyprus’ first casino was signed on Monday, 26 June 2018, in Nicosia between the National Gaming Authority and the consortium of Melco International Development, Sminole HR Holdings LLC (Melco Hard Rock) and CNS Group (Cyprus Phassouri Zakaki Ltd), at the Filoxenia Conference. In total, the investment in Cyprus’s first integrated casino resort, the only one of its kind in Europe, will exceed €500 million, according to the Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Giorgos Lakkotrypis. It will be the biggest casino resort in Europe, boasting 136 gaming tables, 1,200 gaming machines, a 500-room luxury hotel with the capacity for expansion, a conference hall spanning 6,000 square metres with an audience capacity of 1,500, and a wellness centre covering 4,000 square metres, said the minister. He expected the casino to attract an additional 300,000 tourists a year, setting Cyprus, among others, as a high-profile international conference destination.
Moreover, City of Dreams Mediterranean will create an estimated 4,000 local job opportunities during the construction phase and approximately 2,400 permanent jobs once it is fully operational. After the second year of operation, the Integrated Resort is expected to contribute approximately €700 million per year to the Cyprus economy, accounting for around 4% of the country’s annual GDP.
The resort, besides featuring of a five-star hotel with luxury villas and 500 hotel rooms, will also include 11 restaurants and cafeterias, a retail area, and a sports centre. A temporary casino in Limassol began its operations on 28 June 2018, while four satellite casinos in Nicosia, Larnaca, the Famagusta area and Paphos will begin operations very soon as well.