Lawrence Ho, billionaire owner and chief executive of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, will operate what will be called the "City of Dreams Mediterranean" in Limassol on the south coast of Cyprus, aiming to capitalize on the company's "City of Dreams" casino resort brand in Macau and Manila.
"Asian tourists will be able to recognize our brand and as time develops they could be attracted to Cyprus," Ho said in Nicosia. "Melco as a company attracts sophisticated customers, middle and upper class customers." Initially, Melco aims to attract customers to Cyprus from the neighboring Middle East and to target visitors from Russia and Britain, the two major tourist source markets for Cyprus, Ho said.
Melco presented its plans on Tuesday for the construction and operation of the resort in Limassol as well as for another four satellite casinos in other parts of the popular vacation destination. The project represents a total investment of 550 million euros ($5.17 billion) and is scheduled for completion in 2021.
Melco and local partner The Cyprus Phassouri (Zakaki) Limited won an exclusive license to operate Cyprus's first-ever casino. Cypriot authorities project that the resort could attract an additional 300,000 visitors a year boosting economic output by a further 700 million euros per annum, currently around 4 percent of gross domestic product, after the second year of operation.