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Construction work in full swing at Meydan One mall. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: A lot of shops and F&B options plus some snow and water. Place all this within a location that would eventually have up to 300,000 people. The developer of Meydan One and its sprawling mall believes this is the mix that would work well in ensuring its longer viability.

“We are looking at a residential component with a potential to house 85,000 residents (within Meydan One) and an overall 300,000 residents to form the primary catchment area for the mall,” said Mohammad Abdul Nasser Al Khayat, Vice-President — Commercial and Free Zone at Meydan.

That wider catchment would come from Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City — where multiple projects are currently in their build phase while some have been delivered — and the adjacent District One. But Meydan is yet to take a final call on the Dubai One skyscraper, which at the initial launch announcement was conceived as the tallest residential-only tower in the world.

But there are lots by way of attractions until such time Meydan takes a decision on Dubai One. There will be an 8.2 kilometre Crystal Lagoon, with a 500-metre beach spread and beach club, which is quite a big undertaking given that the location is far removed from any natural water body. (Another big-league Dubai developer, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, will also be having a lagoon at its Tilal Al Ghaf project located between Al Fay Road, Hessa Road, and Academic City Road.) Meydan is in fact doubling down on the water element — there will be a dancing water fountain spanning all of 380 metres in length — the largest such in the world, obviously. The mall’s architecture also integrates a retractable atrium space — named the “Canyon” and measuring 160x100 square metres — that will offer “flexi-areas” for events and entertainment options.

“We are changing the way the Middle East thinks of mall concepts today,” said Fahad Kazim, Vice-President, Meydan Malls, Meydan Group. “In addition, we are aiming to ensure that the space has a significant layer of digitisation to allow us to connect with consumer needs in a wholly unique way.”

As per the current schedule, the mall component is headed for a Q1-2020 completion date.

Don’t lace up the ski boots just yet

* The 1-kilometre ski slope — the longest indoor stretch by quite a distance — could have a staggered opening schedule. First to open would be the mall component and then comes the skiing part. The Meydan One mall will have 580 stores, including 30 anchor outlets and 80 flagship luxury boutiques, 190 dining outlets and a 13,200-square metre hypermarket. Its total leasable area will be more than 300,000 square metres.