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City of Dreams Opens in Manila

City of Dreams Opens in Manila

Firmly in the shadows of Southeast Asian gaming meccas such as Macao and Kuala Lumpur, Manila is slowly emerging as a reputable gaming site in its own right. Filipinos love their gambling; whether it’s playing street games or visiting casinos, it seems ingrained in Filipino culture, this is probably why many investors are now undertaking huge projects to build new casinos in the center of Manila.

Solaire is the biggest casino in Manila, which has a sizeable gaming space and offers nearly 500 hotel rooms to visitors. It is situated in the Bay City area of Paranaque City and was built on March 16, 2013. The casino and hotel is the tallest hotel in the entire Manila Bay and is visited by millions annually (image by Jun Acullador).

Manila Bay

However, Solaire is now facing some serious competition in the city with the elegant City of Dreams opening on February 2, this year. The casino and hotel was opened by Hollywood superstars, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro and is now one of the most eye-catching and beautiful buildings in the Bay Area.

It’s a contemporary and cutting-edge building with stunning architecture. Slightly smaller than Solaire, City of Dreams has around 365 hotel rooms available and a modest gaming floor. The casino has live entertainment throughout the day and night as well as a host of critically acclaimed restaurants having already been launched on the second floor of the establishment.

The site also houses The Nobu Hotel as part of the City of Dreams’ complex. The Japanese-themed hotel and restaurant was is via the inspiration of celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa who currently owns 32 restaurants globally according to Rappler. The site also has many retail units from world-renowned brands such as Rolex, Hugo Boss and Montblanc. A variety of spa options are available to visitors as well as some of the most interesting gastrobars including the recently opened Erwin’s Gastrobar (image by sheyx).

Erwins Gastrobar

As the City of Dreams looks to compete in a growing marketplace in Manila, the casino is set to launch some additional of its amenities in the coming months. One of these is the Grand Ballroom, which is set to showcase musicals, live music and theater productions in the coming year, although a launch date hasn’t been revealed as of yet. But with such a myriad of services available to its customers, industry experts are forecasting a bright future for Manila’s latest gaming mecca.

One of the main reasons why they feel it will succeed is, like Solaire, the City of Dreams will not have to compete with online gambling as many of the Western world’s casinos have had to over the years. Online gaming isn’t legal in the Philippines hence why so many are drawn to casinos to play their favorite games. In the Western world, casinos have had to compete with the abundance of online sites ever since the unveiling of the original wagering site InterCasino made its debut online in 1997. This major loophole has seen many foreign investors see Manila as a potential market for such a fledgling gaming landscape. And ultimately why experts feel the City of Dreams will entice people through its door for years to come.


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Feature image by VIC DE VERA