Dubai launches Mall of the World, the first temperature-controlled city

The project, which will occupy 48 million sq ft, will have the largest indoor theme park in the world

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Dubai launched on Saturday the world’s first temperature-controlled entertainment and hotel district, Mall of the World, the emirate’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, said on Saturday.

The project, which will occupy 48 million square feet (4.45 million square meters), will have the largest indoor theme park in the world, which will be covered by a glass dome that will be open during the winter months, WAM state news agency reported on Saturday.

The shopping mall will cover an area of 8 million square feet (743,000 square meters), which will take the form of an extended retail street network, different to the typical shopping mall concept currently available in Dubai, according to WAM.

The temperature-controlled city will also include an area dedicated to healthcare catering to medical tourists, a cultural celebration district and a wide range of hospitality options comprising 20,000 hotel rooms catering to all types of tourists. The city if expected to attract 180 million visitors annually, WAM reported.

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."

"Our ambitions are higher than having seasonal tourism. Tourism is key driver of our economy and we aim to make U.A.E. an attractive destination all year long. This is why we will start working on providing pleasant temperature-controlled environments during the summer months. We are confident of our economy’s strength, optimistic about our country’s future and we continue to broaden our vision," Sheikh Mohammed added.

The new project, developed by Dubai Holding, will introduce an "innovative concept of an integrated pedestrian city connected to the mall and offering a wide range of leisure, retail, cultural, wellness, recreation and hospitality options under one roof," WAM said.

Tourists will be able to enjoy a week-long stay without the need to leave the City or use a car. The 7km long promenades connecting all facilities will be covered during the summer and open during the winter, ensuring pleasant temperatures throughout the year.

Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Chairman of Dubai Holding, said: "Mall of the World presents an innovative concept in the international hospitality sector, further strengthening Dubai’s appeal as a tourism hub with a wide range of options.”

Ahmad bin Byat, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Holding, said the project “will be built using state-of-the-art technology to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint, ensuring high levels of environmental sustainability and operational efficiency."

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