June 23, 2018, 10:24 am
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NAGAWORLD: Phnom Penh’s majestic dragon

Once known as the “Pearl of Asia,” Phnom Penh was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina in the 1920s. 

The city, along with Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, is a significant global and domestic tourist destination for Cambodia. 

Located on Tonle Sap, Mekong and Bassac River, Phnom Penh is home to more than 2 million of Cambodia’s population of over 14 million. Phnom Penh is the wealthiest and most populous city in Cambodia. It is also the country’s commercial, political and cultural hub.

And amidst the picturesque terrain of the Mekong and Tonle Sap River lies the vibrant landmark of Phnom Penh—NagaWorld.

According to legend, NagaWorld derived its name from the mythical fable of a 7-headed dragon or “Naga.”   This majestic dragon was believed to be residing in the rivers and guarding the entrance to Phnom Penh. The tale revealed its only sighting during the appearance of a rainbow and was thus considered highly auspicious. 

What started out as a floating casino in 1995, NagaWorld is now Cambodia’s biggest casino-hotel and considered the finest in the Indochina and rivals top Southeast Asian and world-renowned casinos.

NagaWorld was incepted by Founder, President & CEO – Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Chen Lip Keong.  The mother company, NagaCorp. Ltd is a public listed Gaming and Entertainment Company on the main board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd.

Through an audited international bidding, NagaWorld was given exclusive rights and monopoly as a licensed entertainment complex which will end on 2065.

The casino has been in operations since May 1995 in a ship docked at the Mekong River; the hotel was incepted in December 2006.  The original idea was to operate a floating casino for Phnom Penh on the national river of the nation.

From a floating casino, a successful NagaWorld continued to pursue business development and was relocated to the prime area of Sam Dech Hun Sen Park, a favorable sign of prosperity and good fortune

Between 1996 to 2001, the Kingdom of Cambodia went through tumultuous times both economically and politically.  

But Keong steered the ship on the right course and propelled NagaWorld on clear waters, anchoring on “the land of milk and honey,” creating a best-in-class brand product and beacon in Indochina.

Since then, the casino evolved to one of the finest integrated hotels and entertainment hubs in the region

From a mediocre 100 rooms, NagaWorld progressively expanded to 250 rooms, and more recently, to a 14-storey 502-room best-in-class hotel with international facilities, services and entertainment.

The first step through the doors of NagaWorld carries guest away to the ancient Kingdom of Angkor where one can experience the affection of Khmer hospitality fused with heart-throbbing entertainment.

Ever since, NagaWorld has attracted a broad range of guests from the free-spirited holiday maker seeking comfortable hideaway, the intrepid world traveller, and the gaming connoisseur. 

With a multi-faceted 8-storey wing dedicated to entertainment, the spirit of adventure is effervescent in the exquisitely themed public gaming halls, karaoke lounges and gaming machines. 

Grand build-up of 1.2 million square feet with over 700 Suites and Deluxe Rooms, an all-suite luxurious spa, designer shopping gallery, 14 Food & Beverage outlets, extensive entertainment services and premium meeting spaces with state-of-the-art facilities including touch-screen applications, and the country’s largest hotel convention space that accommodates more than 1,000 guests.

Guests and walk-in customers will also appreciate the 14 Food & Beverage outlets available on site, the live band and the 2 clubs..

Keong said NagaWorld’s visitor count has increased manifolds with more than 1,000 percent growth over the last decade and increasing what with new market entries from neighbouring countries

He added that NagaWorld enjoys a healthy number of visitors from Vietnam, China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and Japan.

And the complex is expanding.

NagaWorld early this year opened Naga City Walk, consisting of a duty-free with the anchor tenant of China Duty Free and many other luxury international brands.

Along with this, NagaCorp opened this month Naga2, which includes additional 1000 rooms, 38 luxury VIP suites, a 2500-seater theatre, along with additional gaming space and a car park. 

Over the years, NagaWorld has received many awards such as the Best Business & MICE Hotel in Cambodia for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014; the Best Integrated Entertainment Destination in Cambodia for 2011, 2013, 2014; the Best Leisure Resort in Cambodia 2012; Best 5 star Hotel of the year for 2012, 2013, 2014; and World Luxury Hotel Award in 2014.  —Rey M. Balabag
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