Team shortlist09 Feb 2016 AT 06:11 PM

Dubai to build shopping mall the size of 154 football pitches

World’s biggest ever mall has been given the go-ahead
Team shortlist09 Feb 2016 AT 06:11 PM
Dubai to build shopping mall the size of 154 football pitches

So you thought wandering around Dubai Mall takes a while. Well think again. By 2020, the first phase of the “Mall of the World” will finally open, and it will become the largest shopping mall in history.

There have long been rumours that the mega-project is being slowed down or downsized. But yesterday, bosses at Dubai Holding, which is building the AED80bn project, confirmed it is going ahead.

"It is not being downsized, but the project is getting re-sized - basically with regards to the offering and how we are going to deliver it. It is a very large and complex project and we are really spending enough time to plan for it so that we can produce something that is very interesting and provides a real value addition to Dubai," the company's vice chairman and managing director Ahmed Bin Byat said.

Phase one – construction of a quarter of the project – will begin next year and open in time for Expo 2020.

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So just what can we expect? A lot…The whole project will cover an incredible 48 million square feet – yep, that would cover 154 football pitches. Around 8 million square feet will be shopping space (about 20 percent more than The Dubai Mall) but far from just being a place for retail therapy, it will also include a theme park, 100 hotels and 20,000 apartment rooms.

Right now, the Dubai Mall is the world’s largest mall in terms of total area. Better still, the Dubai Mall holds the record for the world’s most visited shopping and leisure destination, with an incredible 80 million visitors in 2014. The 2015 figure when released could well be over 100 million.

But we can safely assume that all these records will be broken once the Mall of the World finally opens…

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