Mall of the World in Dubai

Mall of the World in DubaiImage courtesy of  AFP/Getty

Mall of the World in Dubai

Unveiled this week, the Mall of the World is a vision for a climate-controlled leisure district, a place of hotels and shops, entertainment and healthcare, all connected by hermetically sealed avenues – 7km of them – along which trams will trundle.

Mall of the World in DubaiImage courtesy of  AFP/Getty

Launched with a fanfare by the emirate’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, it is the first state-sponsored mega-project to emerge from Dubai since the light-headed days of the pre-crash bubble, when anything seemed possible, drunk on the tidal wave of petrodollars. After years of stalled cranes, sinking islands and litigious wrangling, the big plans are back – and they are more ambitious than ever before.

Mall of the World in DubaiImage courtesy of  AFP/Getty

“We plan to transform Dubai into a cultural, tourist and economic hub for the two billion people living in the region around us,” said Sheikh Mohammed as he launched the project in front of a sparkling model of the 48 million sq ft (4.5 million sq m) complex. “And we are determined to achieve our vision.”

Mall of the World in DubaImage courtesy of  AFP/Getty

There will be 20,000 hotel rooms and enough parking for 50,000 vehicles, servicing the largest shopping mall in the world, at 8 million sq ft (750,000 sq m). The centrepiece will be a vast “cultural celebration centre,” shaped like a disco ball sliced in half and hollowed out to form a glittering backdrop to an outdoor amphitheatre. It will lead, via a triumphal covered avenue lined with spear-like towers, to a retractable glass dome worthy of Kubla Khan, beneath which will sprawl the “largest indoor theme park in the world.” 

more. www.dubaiholding.com

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