ICYMI: On Monday, February 2, the Philippines welcomed yet another ginormous resort casino: City of Dreams Manila.
Located along Aseana Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard in Paranaque, the world-class entertainment complex houses the fanciest of fancy stuff—from posh hotels to gastronomically impressive restaurants. Needless to say, it's another go-to destination.
For many of us, City of Dreams symbolizes a level of luxury that's worth dreaming about (get it?). However, we say why dream when you can actually live it. We mean, going there doesn't mean you have to spend immediately (#AgadAgad); you can take in the sights first then decide if you want to dust off your ol' wallet. You do the same in malls, right?
That being said, a getting-to-know guide is in order. So here now are a few facts about City of Dreams Manila!
If there's one thing we've learned from ogling casino resorts from afar, it's this: THEY'RE FREAKIN' HUGE. City of Dreams Manila has a total size of 6.2 hectares—that's significantly larger than the land area of the Smart Araneta Coliseum and some universities like De La Salle University. City of Dreams Manila needs all that space to accommodate its vast array of luxury offerings (more on this in a bit)—it's dubbed as an "entertainment complex" after all.
THE BILLIONAIRES BEHIND IT
You've got to be loaded (and have the balls) to create a place like City of Dreams Manila. Enter Lawrence Ho and James Packer—the two billionaires who opened the grand casino resort on our shores. In case this is the first time you've encountered their names, Ho and Packer are actually co-chairmen at Melco Crown Entertainment, the casino developer that brought City of Dreams to Manila. As to why they did it, well...
...AND THEIR REASONS
"Our vision was always to find [the] greatest locations in Asia for integrated resorts. We've been very selective. After Macau, Manila is really the first place we decided to go into," Ho said during the resort casino's opening. "[The] Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies anywhere in the world. We are very lucky to be here. We think this market in terms of tourism, overall economy, and consumer spending is consistently on the rise going forward," he added.
Video via City of Dreams Manila
Meanwhile, James Packer predicts that tourism will experience a big growth in the Philippines in the near future.
IT'S THE SECOND OF ITS KIND
City of Dreams Manila is actually the second "City of Dreams"; the first one is located in Macau, a place often called the Las Vegas of the East. Does this mean that Manila has the same potential to be another "Asian Vegas" in the future? We're no seers, but we say there's certainly a good chance; Ho and Packer's words are proof!
THE HOLLYWOOD EFFECT
Another ICYMI moment: A (very) short film called The Audition was released and serves as a multi-million dollar promotional video ad for City of Dreams Manila. It gets even better: It stars top Hollywood bets Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro and was directed by Martin Scorsese, who also called the shots for movies like The Departed, Casino, and Goodfellas.
The Audition is just over a minute long but is quite impressive nonetheless. We won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it, so here:
Video via Islam Lotfy
THE GOOD STUFF INSIDE
As we've said, City of Dreams Manila is the newest place-to-be for big-time spenders. As such, it has a slew of high-class establishments including no less than three prime hotels (Crown Towers, Nobu Hotel, and Hyatt) and five casinos (City of Dreams Casino, Kampay, Li Ying, Signature Club, and Pokerstars). The resort casino also boasts of nine restaurants that cater to different tastes and cuisines.
IT HAS AN "EDU-TAINMENT HUB"!
We're also told that City of Dreams Manila will have an education-based entertainment hub called DreamPlay which will open later this year in partnership with DreamWorks Animation. It will serve as an educational play space with a host of digital technologies where kids aged five to 12 can have fun and learn. It will also feature characters from animated films like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda. It makes us want to be little tots again!