Already home to the world’s tallest building, Dubai is planning to create another “world’s largest” with the Mall of the World.
The recently unveiled project will offer a variety of structures intended to “transform Dubai into a cultural, tourist and economic hub for the two billion people living in the region,” according to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and UAE Vice President.
The Sheikh’s Dubai Holding will develop the project.
The 4.5 million square metre project will house climate-controlled space for shopping, entertainment, cultural events, and wellness and healthcare. Its cost has not yet been made public, nor has the timeline for completion.
The Mall of the World will feature a seven-kilometre promenade with a roof that can be open or closed depending on the season, linking the following areas:
● The world’s largest indoor family theme park, housed under an openable dome.
● The world’s largest mall, covering roughly 750,000 square metres. The developer aims to create a world-class shopping experience comparable to Rodeo Drive and Oxford Street. A comprehensive tram system will transport visitors around the facility.
● An extensive cultural centre featuring theatres modeled on Broadway and London’s West End. Celebration Street is modeled on Barcelona’s Ramblas pedestrian mall, and a variety of halls and restaurants will host weddings and other celebrations.
● The “hospitality district” will include an events center with a capacity of 15,000, along with 20,000 rooms spread among 100 hotels and apartment buildings.
● A 280,000 square metre medical tourism center for wellness visits and cosmetic treatments, connected to spa-style resorts and hotels by climate-controlled promenades.
The project is billed as an “integrated pedestrian city,” so visitors won’t need to use a car or go outside the climate-controlled zone. However, parking for 50,000 cars is planned.
Tourism is a primary economic focus of the city.
“The growth in family and retail tourism underpins the need to enhance Dubai’s tourism infrastructure as soon as possible,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“Our ambitions are higher than having seasonal tourism. Tourism is key driver of our economy and we aim to make the UAE an attractive destination all year long. This is why we will start working on providing pleasant temperature-controlled environments during the summer months.”
Dubai will host Expo 2020, and has set a goal of doubling its annual visitor numbers from 10 million in 2012 to 20 million in 2020, usurping London as the world’s most-visited city.
Dubai Holding chief executive officer Ahmad Bin Byat said the Mall of the World will incorporate sustainable tactics and materials, though he did not offer specifics.
“The project will follow the green and environmentally friendly guidelines of the Smart Dubai model. It will be built using state-of-the-art technology to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint, ensuring high levels of environmental sustainability and operational efficiency,” he said.
Dubai’s other landmarks include the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure, at 829.8 metres, and the Burj Al-Arab, the iconic sail-shaped tower and world’s only seven-star hotel.