Artist’s impression of the Mall of the World, the world’s first temperature-controlled city, which will be built along Shaikh Zayed Road in Dubai. The mall will be capable of receiving 180 million visitors a year. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: The much-talked about Mall of the World project, a massive temperature-controlled indoor city and shopping complex in Dubai, will take about ten years to complete and require Dh25 billion in funds. 

It is not clear yet when the construction of the project will start, but according to Dubai Holding Chief Executive Ahmad Bin Byat, the mega structure will need about Dh2.5 billion “every year for the next 10 years”. 

At least 50 per cent of the required budget will be sourced internally, while the rest of the money will be raised through other means, including the "debt market, sales of some parts of the project, revenue from leasing and partnerships."

“That (25 billion dirhams) is how much it will cost when it’s ready. That is in about 10 years so we are talking about a requirement of about 2.5 billion dirhams every year for the next 10 years,” Byat told Reuters

The announcement of the project, the first of its kind, came at a time when investor appetite for Dubai’s realty is returning and buyers are snapping up apartments and villas within the emirate. It is believed to reinforce Dubai’s position as the land of the firsts. 

However, it has raised concerns on whether or not the city is overbuilding like it did a few years ago, just before the global recession. 

Here are a few interesting features about the Mall of the World: 

Four times the size of Dubai Mall

Located along Shaikh Zayed Road, the mega structure will occupy a total area of 48 million square feet which will be covered by a glass dome. The world’s largest shopping centre, Dubai Mall, covers 13 million square feet, which is about the size of more than 50 football pitches. The proposed  indoor city will be nearly four times the area occupied by Dubai Mall. That’s approximately 200 football pitches combined. 

Hotel links

Aside from featuring an 8 million square feet of shopping centre, the Mall of the World will provide links to 100 hotels and serviced apartment buildings that have 20,000 rooms. 

Theme park

Residents and visitors in Dubai won’t need to venture out of town just to spend a day in a theme park. The Mall of the World complex will house an indoor family theme park, which will be the largest in the world, so it will just be right next door. 

Air-conditioned retail streets

For those who dread going to the shops during the summer months, when temperatures hit more than 40 degrees, the Mall of the World may provide a much-needed relief. If plans push through, the complex will feature a seven-kilometre promenade that will be lined with retail shops. Think about taking a stroll down London’s Oxford Street during winter. “Tourists will be able to enjoy a week-long stay without the need to leave the city or use a car,” Dubai Holding said in a statement. 

Wellness district

Requiring a cosmetic procedure? How about a surgery? Occupying a total area of 3 million square feet will be the wellness district. This section of the complex will provide wellness and rejuvenation services, a “holistic experience to medical tourists and their families” and ensure access to quality health care, specialized surgical procedures and cosmetic treatments, wellness facilities and high-end hospitality options.