Europe’s largest casino resort opens its doors in Cyprus as tourism rebounds

A new casino resort touted as the largest of its kind in Europe has opened its doors in Cyprus, aiming to transform the east Mediterranean island nation into a year-round destination for luxury tourism, officials said Tuesday.

The 600 million euro ($659 million) City of Dreams Mediterranean is one of the largest development projects ever undertaken in the eastern Mediterranean island nation. The resort boasts a 14-story, 500-room hotel replete with a casino, sporting facilities, a family adventure park, the island’s largest pool complex, an outdoor amphitheater, eight restaurants and bars, and a conference center.

Lawrence Ho, chief executive of Hong Kong-based Melco Resorts and Entertainment, told reporters the resort “allows Cyprus to unlock new markets in the region and beyond.”

Cypriot officials have said that the resort located on the outskirts of the southern coastal town of Limassol would create 6,500 jobs, attract some 300,000 additional visitors to Cyprus each year and pour hundreds of millions of euros into the local economy annually.

As other tourism-reliant countries, Cyprus is rebounding from the pandemic that had dried up tourist arrivals. Official statistics report that total tourist arrivals between January and May of this year are up 36.2% from last year over the same period, and up nearly 4% from record-setting 2019 when Cyprus saw 3.9 million visitors.

This comes even as Cyprus registers a loss of around 900,000 annual tourist arrivals from Russia due to sanctions imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Officials said the City of Dreams Mediterranean is the first development in the nation to achieve a top rating for its sustainability strategy.

Resort Property Manager Grant Johnson said Melco’s brand and its experience in entertainment and gaming will combine with Cypriot culture and hospitality to offer a potent mix for visitors.

“Cyprus is now ready to compete across Europe and the Middle East in luxury tourism and large-scale conferences,” Johnson said.

The 7,500 square meter (81,000-foot) casino contains 100 tables and 1,000 slot machines.


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