Businesses in Macau have been encouraged to invest in Hengqin with the government providing cheaper rent and tax subsidies. Galaxy Entertainment, Shun Tak and Macau Legend have also earmarked developments for Hengqin.
Realtors expect property prices to keep rising once a sea bridge linking Hong Kong, and a high speed rail station are completed.
Hoffman Ma, deputy chairman of Success Universe Group, which operates the Ponte 16 casino in Macau, said Hengqin could take some convention and exhibition business away from the former Portuguese colony.
"It doesn't make sense for Macau to do that, due to a consistent labour shortage," he said.
Wang Lian, from Wuhan in central China, brought his daughter to watch whale sharks and polar bears at Chimelong Ocean Kingdom recently.
Industry reports show 8.5 million people visited China's top theme park last year, more than Hong Kong Disneyland's 6.1 million, and almost a third of the 28 million people who visited Macau last year.
"China's population is so big they need something like this nearby ... its (Hengqin's) economic ties will also help Macau develop," Wang said.