Dubai has made a huge name for itself as the top business destination in the entire Middle East. Most tourists visiting Dubai and the rest of the Emirates should know that gambling is not allowed nor is the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public. Dubai’s laws, which are based on Islamic law, forbids any form of gambling or betting. Casinos do exist in the Middle East and are located in other Muslim countries such as Lebanon and Egypt which offer gold-star service.
The law is also applicable to cruise ships docking at the port, and even they have to suspend all gambling and casino activities on-board till they have cleared UAE waters and are back in international waters. It is illegal to place bets or gamble online in Dubai, and websites offering such services are blocked as well.
Even though Dubai hosts the most extravagant and luxurious horse races, it is illegal to bet on horses in there. Currently, there are four race courses in the UAE, Jebel Ali, Meydan, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.
Tourists often wonder if they can place bets during the Dubai World Cup held at Meydan Racecourse. However, it is illegal to place bets during those races.
A senior executive from the Accor Hospitality group suggested that Dubai can increase the revenue of its hospitality sector by introducing casinos.
Some International Groups are investing in Dubai to open big resorts. In particular, a mega project which foresees the construction of a big hotel with 1,000 rooms and 10 villas along the longest stretch of coast.
Dubai is a tolerant and open-minded Emirate with a tourism able to attract at least 20 million people, which may suggest that one day the government will allow the opening of casinos in some big five star hotels or resorts, where usually the consumption of alcoholic drinks is allowed.