Dubai Unveils Plans For A 48-Million-Square-Foot Pedestrian City

The climate-controlled city will include an indoor theme park, 100 hotels, a theater district, and a wellness district.

Dubai Unveils Plans For A 48-Million-Square-Foot Pedestrian City
[Image: Flickr user Terence S. Jones]

Dubai has built a reputation as a shopper’s paradise, but the emirate is undertaking a new real-estate project that includes an 8-million-square-foot shopping center–purportedly the world’s largest–to seal its place as a mall capital.

On Saturday, Dubai’s ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum unveiled plans for Mall of the World, a 48-million-square-foot, climate-controlled pedestrian city that will also include an indoor theme park, 100 hotels and serviced apartments, a theater district, and a 3-million-square-foot “wellness district” catering to medical tourists–all under a single dome that is connected by a tram network. All in all, when completed, Mall of the World will be able to host 180 million visitors annually, according to the developer Dubai Holding.

“We are confident of our economy’s strength, optimistic about our country’s future, and we continue to broaden our vision,” said the sheik in a statement.

Mall of the World will be constructed near Mall of the Emirates, a 2.4-million-square-foot retail space that includes an indoor ski resort in the middle of the Arabian Desert. Dubai Holding has yet to release details about this new project’s cost or completion date.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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