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His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the world's first temperature-controlled city, The Mall of the World, this week.
Located on Shaikh Zayed Road and occupying a total area of 48 million sq ft, the project will comprise the largest indoor theme park in the world, which will be covered by a glass dome that will be open during the winter months. The project will also house the largest shopping mall in the world with an area of 8 million sq ft and taking the form of an extended retail street network, different from the typical shopping mall concept of other retail destinations in Dubai.
Additional districts within the project include a wellness-dedicated zone catering to medical tourists, a cultural district and a wide range of hospitality options comprising 20,000 hotel rooms catering to all types of tourists. Once completed, the mixed-use development is expected to become a year-round destination, welcoming around 180 million visitors annually.
"We announced recently that we plan to transform Dubai into a cultural, tourist and economic hub for the two billion people living in the region around us; and we are determined to achieve our vision," said Shaikh Mohammed. "The growth in family and retail tourism underpins the need to enhance Dubai's tourism infrastructure as soon as possible. We are confident of our economy's strength, optimistic about our country's future and we continue to broaden our vision."
Dubai’s high street
The Mall of the World represents a significant milestone in the evolution of shopping malls. Not only will the mega project include 100 hotels and some 20,000 keys, it will also offer visitors 7km of climate-controlled promenades, something that is offered nowhere else in the world.
"I see this as Dubai's answer to London's Oxford Street and Paris' Champs Elysee, which are both iconic shopping avenues," said Faisal Durrani. Clutton's International Research and Business Development Manager. “The added climate-control element will for the first time allow the emergence of what will effectively be Dubai's answer to a high street."
As development across the city ramps up in the lead-up to the World Expo 2020 and the emirate's vision of playing host to 20 million tourists annually, the focus of activity has moved strongly towards the retail and hospitality sectors. Cluttons expects some 7 million sq ft of new malls of more than 1 million sq ft in size to enter the market over the next two years, excluding all current city-wide mall expansion activity.
Source: Property Weekly