The Manila-based City of Dreams casino-resort is a joint
venture of Melco Crown and local leisure firm Belle Corp. The
Nobu hotel will be one of three in the complex, which aims to
open by the middle of the year and will also feature the largest
nightclub in the city and a Hollywood-style theme park.
"This is a bet on the Philippines and it is a bet on China,"
James Packer, Melco Crown's director, told reporters during a
launch ceremony attended by celebrity Chef Nobuyuki "Nobu"
Matsuhisa and his partner in the hotel group, Hollywood film
star Robert De Niro.
"We really need it to work for the people of Manila and to also
be an attraction that is good enough to get the Chinese market
to come here and have fun," he said.
Chinese are among the biggest-spending gamblers in the world,
helping to turn China's special administrative region of Macau
into the world's biggest gaming hub.
Manila is seeking to position itself as an alternative gaming
destination to Macau and other established centers and is
building four casino resorts in the seafront Manila Bay area.
The Nobu hotel in Manila is set to be the group's biggest so
far. It will feature 321 rooms, almost double its award-winning
Las Vegas property, as well as Michelin-starred Chef Nobu's
signature fusion cuisine.
"We want to make sure that we have a great first impression,"
said Lawrence Ho, Melco Crown's chief executive.
"Our customers like to travel...and given the proximity, Manila
could be a great weekend getaway," he added.
Melco Crown's City of Dreams will compete with Solaire, a
500-room casino-resort owned by Bloomberry Resorts Corp, and
Resorts World, owned by Travelers International Hotel Group Inc,
a venture between casino operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd and
Philippine conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc.
(Editing by Miral Fahmy)
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