Air Traffic with the UAE to Increase Amount of Foreigners in Krasnaya Polyana Gambling Zone
The direct flight connection between Sochi and the largest city of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, will become available on June 7. It is expected to increase the number of foreign visitors in the Krasnaya Polyana gambling zone.
The agreement on Dubai – Sochi – Dubai flights twice per week was concluded at the international event – Arabian Travel Market 2019. It is a major tourist exhibition in the Middle East, involving exhibitors from 80 countries.
This year, Sochi presented its single stand highlighting all features of the Black Sea resort city. The delegation consisted of representatives of Krasnaya Polyana gambling zone, Gorki Gorod mountain resort, Sochi Airport, and Travel Center company.
The adoption of air traffic with the United Arab Emirates where gambling is prohibited has been a crucial goal for Krasnaya Polyana. Now, citizens of this country can fulfill their demands, while Sochi gambling zone is ready to welcome more foreign visitors.
The UAE's inhabitants will be able to stay in Russia within 90 days without a visa. The same scheme applies to Russians in the United Arab Emirates. The gambling zone authorities are also going to establish a direct air travel with India and China where gambling is illegal.
According to experts, Krasnaya Polyana’s tourist flow will increase up to 25% after the implementation of the Dubai – Sochi – Dubai flight connection. Established in 2016, the Sochi gambling zone offers three gambling venues: Casino Sochi, Bonus slot machine hall, and a new casino called Boomerang.
We talked to Dmitry Anfinogenov, Development Director at Krasnaya Polyana, about the impact of the foreign tourist flow on the gambling zone development and about their near plans for 2019.
Interviewer: Russian Gaming Week 2019 (RGW)
Respondent: Dmitry Anfinogenov (D.A.)
RGW: Is the gambling zone ready for the tourist flow increase? What services will the UAE's citizens be able to enjoy?
D.A.: We are the world-class entertainment center: our business processes are based on the best hospitality standards, we have an international team of industry experts. Thus, we are always ready for the tourist flow growth. Our work is aimed at enhancing the tourist flow. We will provide our Arabic guests with the whole range of games and services. Later on, we will focus on their demands and correct our offering.
We respect traditions of our customers, thus Arabic tourists will be able to enjoy halal food, prayer rooms, and carpets in hotels. We do everything to make the vacation at Krasnaya Polyana as comfortable as possible in all senses for our foreign guests.
RGW: How strong was the interest of Arabian Travel Market attendees in the Sochi stand and Krasnaya Polyana gambling zone in particular? What was the most attractive to potential tourists?
D.A.: Our stand at Arabian Travel Market was a big success. Organizers, numerous guests, and exhibitors duly appreciated the exposition of Krasnaya Polyana. I believe that Sochi is very likely to become one of the popular holiday destinations among the Arabs. Subtropical climate, incredible natural landscape, developed infrastructure of the resort city, Olympic venues, five-star hotels, and Krasnaya Polyana gambling zone: all of these things set Sochi apart from other cities.
Moreover, the UAE does not have casinos, as gambling is banned at the legislative level there. Most importantly, Krasnaya Polyana is four hours’ flight from Dubai, which makes our gambling area in-demand.
RGW: How did the amount of visitors increase after the initiation of the Sochi – Tel Aviv flight? Do you expect the same influx after the start of the Sochi – Dubai flight? Or will it be greater?
D.A.: In 2018, after the launch of the direct air connection with Israel, 40,000 citizens of this country attended our gambling clubs. As a comparison, we had 500-1000 visitors per year in 2017. There were two Tel Aviv – Sochi flights per week that year and eight in 2018. Besides, we offer 13 flights in 2019. The influx of tourists grew almost 40 times!
We predict the same effect in this case after the introduction of Sochi – Dubai direct flights. Speaking about the share of the UAE’s inhabitants in the common tourist flow, I would count on 5%, approximately 15,000 Arabic tourists in 2019 (considering two direct flights per week). We have to stir up this market and to do our best so that it won’t plummet in winter.
RGW: When can we expect direct flights with China and India? How will it affect gambling zone operations?
D.A.: These directions are already being elaborated. Surely, we would like this to happen as soon as possible. In a perfect world, by the end of 2019, but it is difficult to predict something because not everything depends on us. Any new directions have a positive impact on gambling zone operations. We are happy to meet new guests. I would add that such events positively affect the development of the whole region.
RGW: Will the increase in the total number of foreign tourists result in the establishment of new gambling venues in Krasnaya Polyana? Are there any plans in this regard?
D.A.: Indeed, we are going to establish new gambling venues, but it is too soon to talk about this. Our current goal is to complete the Boomerang project that we are advancing stage by stage. At the initial stage, we have opened the first floor: a casino and a Swedish line. The next step is a sports bar, a la carte restaurant, and a nightclub on the second floor. We are planning to arrange a mini hotel complex in the tower.
Dmitry Anfinogenov will speak at Russian Gaming Week 2019
and tell event guests how Krasnaya Polyana
has transformed in two years of its operation.