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“City Of Dreams” Casino Adds To Allure Of Macau’s Cotai Strip

Melco Entertainment Makes $2 Billion Bet That Macau’s Tourism, Gambling Industry Will Soon Recover From Global Slump

City of Dreams is one of the world's most high-tech, feature-heavy casinos and entertainment complexes

City of Dreams is one of the world's most high-tech, feature-heavy casino and entertainment complexes

We have written several times before on the efforts of Macau’s tourism department to draw in guests from neighboring Mainland China and Hong Kong, as well as foreign guests from the periphery of East Asia and elsewhere. But despite the department’s efforts, overall confidence levels have been spotty at best in the last year, with some entertainment companies, like the Las Vegas Sands Corp., dramatically cutting back in Macau. However, this month there has been good news coming out of Macau’s glitzy Cotai Strip (the city’s answer to the Vegas Strip), with the opening of Melco’s “City of Dreams” casino, a $2 billion project that features 516 gambling tables in a 420,000-square-foot casino, Hard Rock and Grand Hyatt hotels along with a multimedia theater and shops run by DFS.

According to the casino’s owners, City of Dreams is designed to be one of the world’s most advanced gaming complexes, offering a sort of all-inclusive departure from many of Macau’s more old-fashioned gaming centers, but still remaining close enough to the city’s traditional tourism draws to appeal to a wide tourist demographic. With the unusually large investment that Melco has made in this project, however, it is clear that the company is not simply trying to pull foreign tourists away from its rivals, it is also trying to crack a market that has frustrated other casinos for years — the Mainland or Hong Kong gambler. While this group obviously comes to Macau often and spends freely, the problem has traditionally been getting these individuals to stay in Macau for more than one or two days. With the huge array of amenities at “City of Dreams,” Melco is showing their ambition to get this demographic to respond.

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Macau: A Complex (And Exciting) Destination in the PRC

Macau, Having Already Surpassed Las Vegas As A Gambling Destination, Sets Its Sights On Cultural, Culinary Offerings To Lure Tourists

Macau has quickly established itself as the "Vegas of the East"

Macau has quickly established itself as the "Vegas of the East"

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Since its handover in 1999, Macau has rapidly become one of Asia’s top destinations for gambling, luring thousands of gamers from mainland China and Hong Kong. If Macau’s tourism department has its way, though, the city will soon be as renowned as a cultural destination as well — playing on its unique blend of Portuguese colonial and Chinese culture, architecture, and culinary traditions. Although construction of luxury apartments and casinos has slowed somewhat due to the global economic crisis, the city looks at the continuing growth of the Chinese tourist as a way to buoy a relatively sluggish tourism season.

Macau is unique in that it has, much like neighboring Hong Kong, combined two disparate cultures over the centuries to the point where they no longer seem distinct but instead form the one-of-a-kind Macanese culture. The city has also combined the entrepreneurial, fast-paced culture of China’s biggest cities with a fascinating mix of people, cultures, and languages, making this one of the world’s most exciting, truly global cities. The city has also become one of East Asia’s luxury hubs.

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