South Korea’s Incheon Plans Gaming Destination to Rival Macau

South Korea’s Incheon Plans Gaming Destination to Rival Macau
Travelers walk through Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

South Korea’s Incheon city, where the nation’s busiest airport is located, plans to team up with a group of investors to develop a 317 trillion won ($290 billion) leisure and gaming destination three times the size of Macau.

The project called 8-City will be located in Yongyu-Muui island district in Incheon and built over 18 years, according to developer Eightcity Co., whose shareholders include luxury hotel operator Kempinski AG, Korean Air Lines Co. and Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. The development will spread across an 80 square-kilometer (31 square-mile) area, it said in a statement today.

The new development, which will include hotels, casinos, performance halls, shopping malls, a marina resort and Formula 1 race course, will help push South Korea up in the ranks of Asia’s top destinations. The project will be built through 2030 and will draw 130 million visitors annually from the country and overseas markets including China and Japan, the developer said.

“Eightcity is aiming to become a city that has the advantages of gaming and entertainment offered by Las Vegas, the shopping and financial hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as Macau,” Shawn Park, chairman of Eightcity, told reporters and investors at a briefing in Seoul today.

The cost will include construction and land, as well as roads and other infrastructure developments, it said. The first phase of construction will begin in the first half of next year, according to the statement. The development is expected to add 930,000 jobs, it said.

Incheon is located 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Seoul and has the main airfield to South Korea.

The board of the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund, set up to channel $100 billion in aid annually to developing nations by 2020, proposed South Korea’s Songdo in Incheon city as the site for its planned headquarters earlier this month. The selection will be presented for approval at the UN climate summit scheduled to start on Nov. 26 in Doha, Qatar.

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