Dubai World is investing $2.7bn in MGM’s City Center development. CityCenter is a mixed-use luxury residential, resort and retail complex along the Las Vegas Strip. Dubai World is also buying $2.4 billion worth of MGM Mirage shares, reflecting a 9.5% stake in the business.
Dubai World made headlines last year when its subsidiary, Dubai Ports World, was forced to sell its American port operations after an uproar in the US congress over security concerns. Dubai has become an influential player in global business and tourism, attracting US oil services firm Halliburton which recently moved their headquarters office there.
I visited Dubai about two years ago and it looked to me as a striped down version of Las Vegas. However the rate of construction in Dubai matched Las Vegas, and in high-rise developments they are way ahead of Las Vegas. It should be noted that gambling is prohibited in Dubai and the only place where gambling is allowed is their 7-star hotel which is built on a manmade peninsula and lacks a Dubai flag.
Due to the depreciating value of the US dollar and that Las Vegas high-rise condos are priced about 60% cheaper than similar condos in Dubai, this deal would be beneficial to both parties. MGM/Mirage could benefit from Dubai World’s exclusive buyer lists.
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