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Dubai’s new mall to boast rectractable skylight and ski slope

Groundbreaking held for the Meydan One Mall, which is due for completion in 2020

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Gulf News

Dubai: The ground has been broken for Dubai’s next mega shopping destination — the Meydan One Mall — that will feature a 1-kilometre long indoor ski slope as a primary attraction. It is to be completed in 2020, in time to benefit fully from the Expo event Dubai will host.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, did the groundbreaking on Wednesday evening at the site, itself part of a mixed-use development that will encompass 40.4 million square feet.

The Mall will have two anchor stores and a massive 131,150-square-feet hypermarket. And luxury shopping will have a prime-time presence, along the 1,315 feet long “Central Canyon” that is directly accessible from the road. This effectively creates a high-street feel to the environment, something that Dubai’s mall developers have taken to with their recent projects.

The Meydan One Mall will showcase its share of advanced engineering. There is to be a retractable skylight — of 160 metres by 100 metres — and, of course, the ski slope. And the world’s largest dancing water fountain — at a neck-craning 380 metres high. The mall will have a gross floor area of 5 million square metres, according to the website.

According to the Meydan chairman, Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, “In our vision for Meydan One, we have brought together all the wonders of a retail and leisure experience into one space. With construction under way, the Meydan One Mall is scheduled to be completed by 2020, in line with phase 1 of the Meydan One mega-development.”

During the design work, the developer taped feedback from potential retail partners. This was done to “exactly meet brand requirements, meet their needs in maximising space and ensuring an unrivalled customer experience is offered”, the statement added.

One advantage going for the mall is that it will be central to a vast master-development, and future home to more than 80,000 residents. In fact, the first residents have already moved into the early clusters built by Meydan or one or the other private developer.

“A captive consumer base within its immediate environment wins points for Meydan One Mall,” said Mat Green, head of research and consulting at CBRE. “That and the ski slope as an entertainment attraction will be the magnet that the retail element can build upon.

“It’s too early to talk about what sort of lease rates will be in play and when the leasing programme kicks in. But as the surrounding communities fill up — such as the Sobha Hartland — it will be reflected in retailer demand.”

By 2020, the Meydan One Mall will be part of a wider area with possibly one of the highest retail space concentrations in the world. That includes The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates and the planned retail “district” within Dubai Creek Harbour, which Emaar has said is to be another Downtown in the making — but over a much wider canvas.

With Meydan One Mall, the developer is mixing in a great deal of activity that is not confined to shopping. A 258,300-square-feet indoor sports facility will be part of it, with regulation size sports fields and courts to cater to football, basketball, volleyball, indoor cricket, a golf driving range and even mixed martial arts and a baseball batting cage.

Records galore in the offing

The first phase of Meydan One development, located between Meydan district and Al Khail Road, is to open in 2020. During its evolution, it could break at least “seven world records” and feature the 711-metre high Dubai One tower, a plaza with dancing water features, a 4-kilometre canal, a marina, 5.3-kilometre bicycle and jogging trail, a 9-kilometre boardwalk, a 300-metre long “beach” and a “heritage” village.

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