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© Photo by DAVID ILIFF / Wiki Commons
© Photo by DAVID ILIFF / Wiki Commons

A Little Slice of London Is Coming to Macau

Picture of Matthew Keegan
Updated: 30 November 2017

First Venice, then Paris, and now a little slice of London is coming to Macau in the form of a US$1.1 billion new resort called The Londoner.

The London-themed resort, based on the British capital, will replace the current Sands Cotai Central development and is set to reopen as The Londoner Macao by 2020.

Las Vegas Sands Group currently owns five properties in the Chinese territory of Macau that, combined, feature more than 6,000 hotel rooms.

Sands Cotai Central

Sands Cotai Central will be home to the new The Londoner Macao attraction. | Courtesy of Sands China

The group operates a string of resorts already based on the theme of famous European cities including its flagship property the Venetian Macao, which is styled on the Italian city of Venice. In September 2016, the group opened The Parisian Macao, a US$2.5 billion Paris-themed resort complete with its own half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. Next up will be The Londoner – a venue themed around iconic buildings of the British capital.

Parisian Macao | Courtesy of Sands China

“The Londoner Macao will feature dynamic new attractions and features from London including some of London’s most recognisable landmarks, an expanded and reimagined retail mall and 350 luxurious new suites,” said Sheldon Adelson, Chairman and Chief Executive of Las Vegas Sands.

Of the existing hotels that form part of Macau’s Sands Cotai Central, the Conrad Hotel and the Sheraton will be left alone, but the Holiday Inn facility will be completely renovated and they will also redo the the façade of the building.

Robert Goldstein, Sands’ President and Chief Operating Officer, said the resort’s façade would resemble “something with all the iconic architectural look and feel of Big Ben.”

Construction work on The Londoner Macao is expected to start in the second half of 2018 and will take about about “18 to 24 months” to complete, said the group’s chairman.

Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal. The southern Chinese city overtook Las Vegas in 2006 to become the world’s most successful gambling destination. Macau has been known to rake in as much as seven times more in annual gaming profits than Vegas.

Macau was formerly a Portuguese colony for more than 400 years, until it was handed back to Chinese sovereignty in 1999. Macau operates as an autonomous region within China, which is why gambling is allowed here.

Due to its history as the first and last European colony in China, Macau has many buildings that reflect Portuguese style and architecture. Macau’s historic town centre was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, with over twenty locations that witness the unique assimilation and co-existence of Chinese and Portuguese cultures in Macau.

Much like the Venetian Macao and Parisian Macao before it, The Londoner Macao, when it opens in 2020, is expected to continue the European link for which Macau has become famous.