The giant project will also boast of the world's largest indoor family
Dubai to build giant entertainment district
Dubai, 19 days ago
Dubai is launching a project to build an entertainment and hotel district that will include the world's largest shopping mall, the emirate's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, said on Saturday.
Plans for the "Mall of the World" project were originally revealed 18 months ago, helping to trigger a strong rally in Dubai's real estate and stock markets.
Saturday's announcement appeared to indicate that substantial work on the project would now begin, though the statement did not say when construction would be completed, how much it would cost or how it would be financed.
Commenting on the new project, Sheikh Mohammed said: “The growth in family and retail tourism underpins the need to enhance Dubai’s tourism infrastructure as soon as possible."
"This project complements our plans 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,” he stated.
“We are confident of our economy’s strength, optimistic about our country’s future and we continue to broaden our vision,” remarked Sheikh Mohammed.
Mohammed Abdullah al-Gergawi, chairman of Dubai Holding, which is Sheikh Mohammed's personal investment vehicle and will develop the project, said the project will be built in phases in alignment with the gradual growth of family tourism in Dubai.
The latest version of the plans includes construction of a 743,000 sq m mall, connected to a theme park, theatres, medical tourism facilities and 100 hotels and serviced apartment buildings with 20,000 rooms.
A major highlight of the project will be temperature-controlled covered retail street network spreading over 7 km and the world's largest indoor family theme park, said Al Gergawi.
The other key feature being planned are a Wellness district catering to medical tourists in a 3 million sq ft area besides a cultural district comprising theatres built around New York’s Broadway, The Celebration Walk, similar to the Ramblas Street in Barcelona and shopping streets based on London’s Oxford Street.
Dubai’s largest celebration centre will accommodate 15,000 revellers at a time, said the top official.
"The complex would be able to host 180 million visitors annually. Seven kilometres of promenades connecting the facilities would be opened to the air during the winter but covered and air-conditioned during the hot Gulf summer," he stated.
Dubai is still recovering from its 2009 debt crisis and the International Monetary Fund has warned a slew of new real estate projects could lead to another boom-bust cycle. But officials say they are able to handle the risks, and a strong economy is helping Dubai's government-linked firms restructure their debt.-Reuters and TradeArabia News Service