The US$2.1 billion City of Dreams – Macau’s latest bet for reviving its sluggish leisure profile – opened yesterday in the Cotai area to hopes of establishing the Special Administrative Region (SAR) as a multi-day stay destination.
Lawrence Ho, owner Melco Crown Entertainment Limited co-chairman and chief executive officer, called City of Dreams a “crucial project”, and said that “what is good for Melco is good for Cotai and good for Macau”.
Special emphasis was placed on the complex’s non-gaming attractions such as The Bubble, a dome-shaped theatre providing visitors with a 360-degree experience of being underwater, and the retail mall containing a slew of luxury branded outlets.
“People no longer come to Macau just to gamble,” said Ho. “They will stay if we give them more things to do.”
City of Dreams, which is marketed as an integrated urban entertainment resort, is expecting to generate 7,000 jobs in a market that has witnessed several high-profile projects put on hold, all victims of the still ongoing financial crisis. Even Las Vegas Sands put a halt to its ambitious Cotai Strip, which resulted in a loss of more than 11,000 jobs. In May, it announced another round of layoffs.
City of Dreams launched with the first phase of development, comprising two hotels (Crown Towers and Hard Rock Hotel), a casino, more than 20 food and beverage outlets and about 16,258sqm of retail space in collaboration with retail partner DFS.
The second phase will add the purpose-built Theatre of Dreams and Grand Hyatt Macau, which is set start up in October, while the final phase features an apartment hotel with about 800 units.
For more information on City of Dreams, visit www.cityofdreamsmacau.com