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While the impending Expo 2020 undoubtedly gives a timeline to the project, in unveiling the plans His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum commented: “We announced recently that we plan to transform Dubaiinto 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.” It is estimated that the Mall of the World will be a draw card for 180 million visitors per year. The project will be completed in stages, “in alignment with the gradual growth of family tourism in Dubai.”

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The project’s ‘highlights’ include the world’s largest mall at eight-million square feet, connected to 100 hotels and serviced apartment buildings totaling 20,000 hotel rooms. The shopping mall will be a temperature-controlled, covered retail street network spreading over seven kilometers and modeled on Rodeo Drive and London’s Oxford Street. It will also include The Celebration Walk, which is based on La Rambla in Barcelona. The development also includes the largest indoor family theme park in the world, which will be covered by a glass dome that can be opened in the milder winter months. There will also be a cultural district based on Broadway, with a 15,000-person capacity “celebration center,” to be Dubai’s largest.

CEO of developer Dubai Holding, Ahmad Bin Byat, notes: “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 sustainabilityand operational efficiency.” The press release also enthuses: “Tourists will be able to enjoy a week-long stay without the need to leave the city or use a car. The seven kilometer long promenades connecting all facilities will be covered during the summer and open during the winter, ensuring pleasant temperatures throughout the year.” An oasis in the desert: come for the plastic surgery, stay for the shopping and the roller coasters (medical advice permitting, of course). Who could ask for anything more?

Via Fast Company

Images by Dubai Holding via Twitter