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Fire and fortune hit Cyprus as casinos face challenges in attracting the mega-rich


Cyprus is grappling with a double-edged dilemma after the grand opening of Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s City of Dreams Mediterranean (CoDM). Just weeks after the lavish launch, the island finds itself battling raging wildfires, along with logistical hurdles and infrastructure limitations that hinder attracting high rollers to the property. Despite the odds, CoDM might just hold the key to changing this narrative!

Summer isn’t fun for wildfires in Cyprus

The entire world is scorching under one of the most prolonged heat waves in history, and Cyprus is no exception. Greece and its islands are engulfed in relentless wildfires, and countries like Italy, Algeria, and the U.S. are also feeling the fiery wrath.

In a recent incident, Cypriot firefighters battled desperately to quell one of the most significant fires of the year. Fortunately, there were no casualties, and property damage was limited due to the fire’s location.

Fire and fortune hit Cyprus as casinos face challenges in attracting the mega-rich

But, there’s no relief from the heat for the average Cypriot this summer, with temperatures soaring above 100F. As the landscape dries up, the threat of wildfires looms large.

A recent blaze in the central mountain region of the Paphos forest destroyed nearly 50 acres of forest area before firefighters could tame it. Though mostly uninhabited, the fire posed a potential threat to nearby residents and struck fear in the hearts of those living in Limassol, home to CoDM.

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What’s being done at Cyprus

The inferno demanded the combined efforts of 100 firefighters and seven aircraft to be contained, leaving behind a trail of destruction, engulfing pine and oak trees, as well as a plethora of wildlife.

Blame it on the uninsulated overhead power lines, they say. Charalambos Alexandrou, director of the Department of Forests for Cyprus, attributed the cause of the fire to the poor state of these powerlines, so fragile that a mere bird landing on one could spark a disastrous blaze.

While such wildfires create adverse circumstances, the real challenge for Cyprus lies in its struggle to allure the wealthy elite. Its lackluster infrastructure and suboptimal location act as major deterrents to attracting the affluent demographic.

According to Edward Granville, CEO of Red Savannah, a prominent London-based company catering to wealthy travelers, Greece steals the limelight. It has outshined Italy as the go-to destination for globe-trotting millionaires. Granville highlights that the affluent class typically spends around $44,000 on vacations, with some splurging an astounding $1.1 million! Cyprus, unfortunately, lags behind the Greek islands, as it stands almost isolated and doesn’t offer the island-hopping allure that Greece does.

Granville asserts, “Cyprus cannot cater to the demands of this clientele.”

While Cyprus remains a rare exception for the rich and famous, Thanos Michaelides, chair of the Cyprus Hotel Association, sees a glimmer of hope. He believes that CoDM could be a game-changer for attracting the ultra-wealthy, including high rollers who revel in leaving fortunes at casino tables. He envisions CoDM offering an unmatched experience in the region, giving Cyprus the much-needed boost it deserves.

But, there’s a catch! To turn this dream into reality, significant efforts must be invested in infrastructure development and safeguarding Cypriot resources. The road to wooing the mega-rich may be fraught with challenges, but the promise of CoDM shines like a beacon of hope in Cyprus’ quest to claim its spot on the map of luxury destinations!

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