Melco picks major Greek construction companies as the preferred contractors for its first casino resort outside Asia
Greek construction companies GEK Terna and J&P Avax have been selected as the preferred contractors for the development of the first integrated casino resort in the Republic of Cyprus, according to reports from local news outlets.
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News emerged last week that Melco Resorts & Entertainment and its local partner Cyprus Phassouri (Zakaki) Ltd. were days away from announcing the company/consortium of companies that would build the City of Dreams integrated resort in Limassol. A consortium comprised of France’s Bouygues Construction Group and its Cypriot partner Cybarco, as well as Consolidated Contractors Company, one of the largest real estate developers in the Middle East, were the other two bidders in the race for the contractor that would be tasked with the major project.
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Melco and its local partner were selected as the preferred developers and operators of what would be the first casino resort in the Republic of Cyprus in the fall of 2016. The companies received their license to operate the hotel and casino complex in Limassol in the summer of 2017. Under the terms of that license, Melco would also be able to operate four satellite casinos in addition to the gambling venue that will be part of the larger resort.
Two of those satellite casinos opened doors late last year – one in the Cypriot capital Nicosia, and the other at Larnaca International Airport. The other two – one in Paphos, and the other in Ayia Napa – are set to be launched later this year. A temporary casino is also currently operational in Limassol and will remain operational while the main resort is under development.
Now, as the contractor has been selected, Melco expects to break ground on its first integrated resort outside Asia by April. City of Dreams Mediterranean is expected to open doors in 2021.
Cyprus Moves to Combat Seasonality with Casino Gambling
Casino gambling had been banned in Cyprus for years, but had been a thriving industry as illegal operations had been conducted all over the tiny island nation, benefiting from its popularity with international tourists.
The government of Cyprus introduced casino gambling regulations as part of its efforts to combat those black market operations, but also to create a new type of entertainment that would enhance its efforts to turn the nation into a year-round tourism hub.
Melco’s integrated resort will be located in the Zakaki area of Limassol. The city has seen booming construction activity over the past several years and has been among the main contributors to the growth of Cyprus’ real estate market.
City of Dreams Mediterranean will feature a five-star hotel with 500 rooms, a casino with a number of slot machines and gaming tables (as mentioned earlier, the temporary casino in Limassol will shut down once the main resort becomes fully operational), meeting and convention facilities, food and beverage outlets, retail space, and a number of different attractions.
Melco and its local partner previously announced that they would funnel €550 million into City of Dreams Mediterranean, but it emerged earlier this year that the companies plan to increase their investment.
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