Dubai: The mammoth Mall of the World development will get into full construction mode once the Dubai Police Academy — which occupies part of the site — takes up residence at a new location in Academic City.
Dubai Holding, the developer of MoW, is building the new Academy and which should be ready for occupation in another two years, according to a top official.
“I see it as giving us more time to give the various touches to the Mall of the World master plan,” said Morgan Parker, Chief Operating Officer for the development.
“I don’t see it as delaying the project — for something as complex as what is being attempted, it gives us time to take on a very thoughtful approach.”
There are as many as 75 individual components making up the master plan, which is yet to be nailed down to the last detail. It was last year that the project was announced, thus creating the future destination to-be for Dubai.
Making the construction process all the more complex was the simultaneous announcement that a dome will cover the super structure.
The Mall of the World will take up a gargantuan 1.6 square kilometres. Even now, at the site which is not taken up by the Academy, initial construction works are ongoing.
And it is not just about creating the world’s largest mall but seamlessly integrating the hospitality, residential, commercial and entertainment lifestyle options into the bigger picture. “Each of the components will simultaneously be integrated into the construction phase — the last thing we want to do is take up single component such as retail and create the worst traffic jam in the middle of Dubai,” said Parker.
“Even with the actual retail, not all of it will come under the mall structure — the design integrates in-mall retail with the high-street. The look that we have for the street-side locations is something you might see at Ginza District [Tokyo] or Hong Kong Central.
'Not just retail'
“Often, retail is the worst offender in creating mixed-use developments. That’s the whole reason we will be integrating multiple components once we reach full construction mode and not just focus on retail. We are creating real synergies between the five components that will make up Mall of the World.”
The hospitality element alone will have more than 70 properties, as per the current master plan. And there are to be three ‘malls’ within the overall offering.
Parker did not specify the anticipated cost of development, but it will take more than a decade for the entire project to be fleshed out into brick-and-mortar.
“Availability of capital is not an issue for us; we will also be roping in development partners into the project,” said Parker. “That could take the form of either having joint ventures — again that’s not something new for Dubai Holding — or they could attempt something stand-alone.”
On when the first shopper could troop in through the doors of MoW, Parker said: “That could take place within the next five years.”