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"Our government's aim is the creation of a complete casino resort that will be paramount in Europe and one of the best in the world," President Nicos Anastasiades said at a presentation of the USD 660 M resort.

Melco-CNS, a consortium made up by Melco Resorts and Entertainment and the Cyprus Phassouri Ltd will be in charge of building the City of Dreams Mediterranean, which is set to create 4,000 construction jobs, employ another 2,500 permanent staff and attract 300,000 tourists yearly.

The resort will include a gaming area with 136 tables and 1,200 gaming machines and 9,600 square meters of MICE facilities (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions).

It will also feature a five-star hotel with luxury villas and 500 hotel rooms, 11 restaurants and cafeterias, a retail area, wellness center and sports center.

Melco Chairman Lawrence Ho said City of Dreams Mediterranean will mirror the company's other resorts in Macau and the Philippines in architecture, design, and entertainment.

A temporary casino will open up by June in the southern coastal town of Limassol, where the resort will be built.

Four other satellite casinos in Nicosia, Larnaca, the Famagusta area and Paphos will also start operating in the first half of 2018.

President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday hailed the investment, saying it was an impressive and ambitious project that the government had made efforts to attract shortly after the financial crisis in March 2013 “after we concluded that the benefits for the country certainly outnumber any negative consequences.” “It will be the top integrated casino resort in Europe and one of the best in the world,” he added.

Chairman and Melco CEO Lawrence Ho said “I am proud that the Cypriot government has entrusted Melco and CNS to build Cyprus’ first integrated resort which will place Cyprus on the world tourism map and attract visitors not just from the surrounding region but also from the whole of Europe and around the world.” He added this was the first time the brand was working outside of Asia and “growing tourism in Cyprus is our number one priority.” “We really do live and die by our efforts to be different,” Ho added.

Their project was shortlisted from a total of eight bids and the master plan was submitted on December 22.

Safeguards have been put in place such as the minimum age requirement of 21, Anastasiades said while several training courses are running on the island to prepare for the job openings that will follow.

The Melco-Hard Rock Resorts Cyprus consortium submitted the only final bid in the second leg of the government’s tender invitation for an integrated resort casino, the commerce ministry announced on Wednesday.