Dubai, home to the world's tallest building, has another major architectural plan in the works: the world's biggest mall.
Announced July 5 by developer Dubai Holding, the so-called Mall of the World will include an 8-million-square-foot shopping complex, a theatre district inspired by New York's Broadway, a massive indoor family amusement park and 100 hotels. All told, the project area will extend a whopping 48 million square feet.
By contrast, Minnesota's Mall of America is only 4.87 million square feet.
Oh, and if those amenities weren't enough, a "network of temperature-controlled openable promenades" is also being planned for the Mall of the World, to protect shoppers from the region's scorching summer temperatures, which often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
A completion date or budget have yet to be announced for the project.
“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,” UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a statement.
The Associated Press explains why the city would want to take on yet another gargantuan development project:
Dubai is racing to develop additional infrastructure needed to accommodate a surge in visitors expected when it becomes the first Middle Eastern city to host the World Expo, in 2020. Authorities expect that event to generate $23 billion from 2015 to 2021 and estimate it will cost $8.4 billion to organize.
The new mall project alone is expected to create an additional 20,000 hotel rooms.
An estimated 25 million people will travel to Dubai for the World Expo.