Dubai plans world's biggest shopping centre

 
Nassos Stylianou
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Dubai is planning an eight million square foot mall (Source: Getty)

Not content with laying claim to the world's tallest building and largest ferris wheel, Dubai says it will construct the biggest shopping mall on earth.

The shopping-loving Arab emirate is already home to a slew of impressive retail centres, which feature indoor ski slopes, ice-skating rinks and a 155m year-old dinosaur skeleton among their main attractions, but this new real estate plans to dwarf them all.

Al Jazeera reports that the construction project, a sprawling hotel and entertainment district with a climate controlled street grid as well as a cultural and theatre district based on New York's Broadway, will include an eight million square foot shopping centre called 'The Mall of the World'.

The project was announced 18 months ago but the latest statement appears to indicate that work would begin shortly, even though the company behind it, Dubai Holding, gave no additional information about how much the construction would cost or the estimated completion date.

Announcing the plan, ruler of Dubai Sheik Mohammed said:

The growth in family and retail tourism underpins the need to enhance Dubai's tourism infrastructure as soon as possible. This project complements our plans to transform Dubai into a cultural, tourist and economic hub for the 2 billion people living in the region around us, and we are determined to achieve our vision.

Ambitious real estate projects have been synonymous with the emirate's boom and bust in recent years. In the period 2008 to 2009, the region was hit by a a housing market crash that drove many developers out of business and wiped 65 per cent off values.

While the region's financials have picked up since then, analysts fear that a renewed host of overzealous real estate constructions could put the emirate's economy back at risk.

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