The tallest building, the most extravagant lifestyles and malls large enough to satiate the world’s craziest shopaholics – Dubai is in competition with itself in setting new benchmarks in the world of shopping…
WORDS BY- AMOG
From a dessert city to a thriving, flourishing megapolis, Dubai’s phenomenal growth story is well known all over the world. What started as a preferred travel destination in the Middle East, soon became the world’s favourite shopping destination and now, realty center with the tallest, most luxurious buildings. Dubai is anyone’s shopping fantasy– boasting of the best of brands, retailers, traditional souks, endless outlets for duty free goods, and designer malls from heaven. And then there’s the fact that Dubai seems to be very keen on maintaining this status and thus, keeps coming up with various people-friendly promotions and festivals to attract tourists so that ensure they have a shopping experience unlike any they’ve had before.
When it comes to shopping malls, Dubai breaks many boundaries in terms of size and style. From Dubai Mall, which is the largest shopping mall in the world and houses a private, indoor ice rink, an aquarium where you can dive-in with sharks, and an amusement centre, complete with daring rides, to the Mall of the Emirates, home to the world’s largest indoor ski slope – Dubai’s malls offer so much more than just a shopping experience.
But all this is set to change. There’s a new mall coming up in Dubai.
And it is no ordinary mall. Dubai’s Mall of the World will be a colossal domed structure nine times bigger than the Mall of America. When it opens in 2029, it will be temperature-controlled, feature thousands of hotel rooms and have its own transit line. Mall of the World is a project to build the largest shopping center of its kind in the world, which envisions a fully air-conditioned city, comprising more than 48 million square feet of retail space.
Mall of the World was originally announced in November 2012 and was planned to be the largest shopping mall in the world, to be located in Mohammed bin Rashid City, a mixed-use development in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In August 2016, Dubai Holding announced Mall of the World would be relocated to Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Road. The original plan includes eight million square feet of shopping areas, the largest indoor game park in the world with a glass dome that can be opened during the winter time, and areas for theaters, cultural events, medical tourism, and about 20,000 hotel rooms. The mall is expected to be able to receive 180 million visitors annually. That’s more people visiting a mall than living in Russia.
Mall of the World will also introduce an innovative concept of an integrated pedestrian city connected to the mall and offering a wide range of leisure, retail, cultural, wellness, recreation and hospitality options under the same roof.
Tourists will be able to enjoy a weeklong stay without the need to leave the city or use a car.
The 7 km long promenade connecting all facilities will be covered during the summer and open during the winter, ensuring pleasant temperatures throughout the year.
The project boasts of over 100 hotels and serviced apartments buildings, including 20,000 hotel rooms. It will include designated parking areas with a capacity to host up to 50,000 cars on the ground level.
Another component of Mall of the World is the Wellness District, which will cover a total area of 3 million sq. ft. dedicated to providing wellness and rejuvenation services. It will offer a holistic experience to medical tourists and their families, ensuring access to quality healthcare, specialized surgical procedures and cosmetic treatments, wellness facilities and high-end hospitality options.
It’s been over six years since the inception of the project and with a few more years to completion, work is progressing on track and is currently in the detailed design stage. The mega project, which was launched in 2014 by state-owned Dubai Holding, is a 15-year development. The funding for the project, estimated to cost a whopping 80bn Dirhams, will be distributed across the entire time span. Mall of the World will be divided into four phases with the first phase slated for completion before Expo 2020. Phase one will comprise at least 25 per cent of the entire project with construction scheduled to begin next year.