Rendering: ArchDaily via Dubai Holding

One only needs to look beyond its iconic skyline at mile after mile of sand to be reminded that Dubai is first and foremost a desert city. With summer temperatures often reaching a sweltering 104 degrees Fahrenheit, or 40 degrees Celsius, the air conditioned walkways of Dubai’s many shopping malls provide a safe haven from the scorching sun.

As the ultimate solution to beat the heat, Dubai is now planning to develop the Mall of the World, a colossal 48 million square foot indoor complex, promenade and shopping mall that will feature temperature-controlled streets with retractable ceilings that open up during the cooler days of the year.

53beb5eac07a80ad370000a3_dubai-plans-mall-of-the-world-the-first-ever-temperature-controlled-city-_motw_-_image_3Rendering: ArchDaily via Dubai Holding

In truth, Mall of the World is far more evocative of a full-fledged city than a mall, as it will host 100 hotels and apartment buildings with over 20,000 hotel rooms, the world’s largest indoor theme park and a three million square foot wellness centre. The “mall” component will have 8 million square feet of leasable space.

The mega-structure’s in-house mall will become the world’s largest and knock New South China Mall, the current record holder at 7.1 million square feet, down a peg. Dubbed as a dead mall, New South China Mall has widely been regarded as a failure with vacant storefronts and low attendance.

When considering total area and not just gross leasable space, Dubai Mall, opened in 2008, will still stand as the largest shopping center in the world at 13 million square feet.


Rendering: ArchDaily via Dubai Holding

Mall of the World will take shape along Sheikh Zayed Road, a famous highway strip in the city’s core.

According to Ahmad Bin Byat, a Chief Executive at Dubai Holding, the developer taking on the massive project, the Mall of the World will cost $6.8 billion and will be built in 10 years. The retail complex will be capable of receiving 180 million visitors annually.

Currently, Dubai’s roster of mega malls includes Mall of the Emirates, which boasts a 242,000 square-foot artificial indoor ski area and 278 foot high slope, as well as the Dubai Mall that houses a 2.6 million gallon aquarium.

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