China is about to lose its accolade of having the world’s largest shopping mall as Dubai has released plans to build a 48 million square foot retail mecca. The new project aims to attract 180 million visitors per year and will be the world’s first temperature-controlled 7km-long pedestrian city in the summer, but will be open-air during the winter when its glass dome will open. It will also feature the largest indoor theme park in the world.
Expected to open in 2020, the plans were unveiled by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. However, no timetable for construction or details of its financing were given.
The mall will combine international shopping references
The project will combine experiences 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. There will also be a wellness dedicated zone catering to medical tourists, and 20,000 hotel rooms.
“Tourism is a key driver of our economy and we aim to make the UAE an attractive destination all year long,” said al-Maktoum. “We are confident of our economy’s strength, optimistic about our country’s future and we continue to broaden our vision.”
The emirate attracted 9.9 million visitors last year spending 10.4 billion dollars. Dubai Mall, the country’s biggest to date, attracted 80 million visitors in 12 months.