Here is something fun to start the week. I say "fun" because as you will see this new Dubai project is so "over the top" that it becomes hilarious. Don't get me wrong, they've succeeded to do some great things in Dubai. I love the Palm and World man-made islands, as well as the Burj Al Arab Hotel, and let's not forget the impressive Burj Khalifa tower. But they always need to top the previous project and as you'll see this new one is going to be difficult to beat, at least in its category.
So, what is it about? It's called "Dubai Mall of the World" - above and on top, the entrance of Dubai mall of the World, click to enlarge - and the project is to be "the retail and hospitality showpiece development for the Expo 2020 in Dubai, alongside the planned mega convention centre and related infrastructure that will be rolling out of the design board shortly". In its conceptualization, the project will be nothing less than a city-within-a-city and also include - are you sit? - 100 hotels!
Apart from being the largest mall in the making by occupying 8 million square feet, it is being billed as the world’s first “temperature-controlled (pedestrian) city” and with a 48 million square feet spread. This will be through a glass dome enclosure that will be open up during the winter months, a high season for the city’s retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.
On completion, it will be a year-round destination that is projected to pull in 180 million visitors annually. 180 million! To give you an example how unrealistic it is France, currently always the most visited country in the world had last year around 85 million international tourist rival ( the U.S are just behind with 69 million ). And in both countries there is plenty of things to see and spend time, and certainly much more than in Dubai... So, 180 million per year in Dubai? Sure, baby, sure, go on dreaming...
That said there is some interesting ideas in the project like this themed street with a tramway, under the removable dome.
And it is supposed to include too a theme park, which looks more to me like a water / amusement park...
"The Mall of the World would also host the world’s largest indoor theme park. And unlike the big-box design concepts in vogue in the global mall industry, the new development’s design ethos will be that of a “retail street network” stretching to over 7 kilometres.
Merging the twin pursuits of shopping and leisure living, the Mall of the World’s retail area will have connectivity to 100 hotels and serviced apartment properties offering up a combined 20,000 room keys."
“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,” Shaikh Mohammad, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said in the launch statement. “This is why we will start working on providing pleasant temperature-controlled environments during the summer months.”
"A full-scale ‘Wellness District” thus is integrated into the masterplan, and this would take up 3 million square feet. Future tenants in this cluster will offer not just cosmetic and wellness treatments but top-of-the-line health care, including specialized surgical procedures. This will also be where the ‘Dubai Cultural District’ will be anchored. Again, the developer is eyeing for touchstones similar to what a visitor would see in London’s West End of New York’s Broadway."
"It will have the ‘Celebration Walk’, akin to Barcelona’s Ramblas Street. There will be direct connectivity from the cultural cluster – which will offer a mix of conference, celebration and even wedding halls - to the rest of the mall."
Anyway, as great as it might look we'll see if it ends to be built or if it will be one more Dubai project that never was. In this case, and because of the 2020 Expo may be this time we'll see it built. In the meantime have a look at the video below showing the amazing model of the project.
Pictures: copyright WAM