An artist’s impression of The Dubai Mall Metro Link. The project is expected to be completed by 2013, giving people direct access to the mall without having to take buses or other forms of transport. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Going to Dubai Mall via the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Metro Station might just be another walk in the park by 2013 as plans to build a pedestrian link in Downtown Dubai were announced on Tuesday.

An 820-metre-long glass pedestrian link will conveniently connect mall-goers using Dubai Metro to Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping and entertainment destination, and the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.

Called ‘The Dubai Mall Metro Link,' the project is considered one of the longest pedestrian walkways, only eight metres short of the Burj Khalifa which stands at 828 metres above ground. The pedestrian walkway, scheduled to be operational by 2013, is expected to reduce vehicular traffic within the vicinity of Dubai Mall.

"The Dubai Mall is one of the most visited tourist, retail and leisure destinations in the world. While the mall offers covered parking for over 14,000 vehicles, we have been evaluating various alternatives to further streamline visitor traffic and add to their convenience," Mohammad Al Abbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said.

"The Dubai Mall Metro Link will contribute to the sustainable transport initiatives developed by the Dubai Government. It has been designed to accommodate maximum visitor traffic to Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and to Downtown Dubai, especially during the festive season," he added.

More convenience

The Dubai Mall Metro Link, to be constructed by Dutco, will have five travellators in each direction — ten in all — each 70 to 120m long and 1.4m wide. The travellators can carry more than 13,500 people per hour at its peak capacity. They will run at an average speed of 0.5m per second. A central walkway will give additional space for pedestrian use.

Pedestrians, meanwhile, welcomed the project.

"I believe this pedestrian walkway will give more convenience not only to mall-goers and tourists but also to the many people who work in Dubai Mall," Mia Romasanta, who has been working at Dubai Mall Medical Centre for two years, told Gulf News. "With the pedestrian walkway, we can save the bus fare that we pay as extra just to get from the Metro to the mall. It also saves us time because the bus usually takes a longer route."