Dubai, July 5 (IANS) An ambitious "Mall of the World" project boasting of the world's first temperature-controlled city was unveiled in the UAE Saturday, a Dubai Holding statement said.
The project will be developed by Dubai Holdings and would be located along Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai.
With a total area of 48 million square foot, the complex will house the largest shopping mall in the world spread over 743,000 square metres.
The mall will take the form of an extended retail street network.
The project will be developed in multiple phases in alignment with the gradual growth in tourism in the city.
Over 180 million visitors have been expected to visit the year-around destination annually.
The project would comprise of the world's first "temperature-controlled (pedestrian) city" as the complex will be covered by a glass dome opened during the winter months.
"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," said Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, while launching the showpiece 'Mall of the World' project Saturday.
Wellness district catering to medical tourists in a 3 million square foot area has also been proposed.
A wide range of hospitality options comprising 20,000 hotel rooms catering to all types of tourists is also available, the statement said.
While pressing on the need to work towards achieving Dubai's ambitious tourism vision, the emirate's ruler Shaikh Mohammad said, "Our ambitions are higher than having seasonal tourism. Tourism is key driver of our economy and we aim to make the UAE an attractive destination all year long. This is why we will start working on providing pleasant temperature-controlled environments during the summer months."
Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Chairman of Dubai Holding, said, "Mall of the World presents an innovative concept in the international hospitality sector, further strengthening Dubai's appeal as a tourism hub with a wide range of options."
Al Gergawi said that their main aim is to create an integrated city with a plethora of best-in-class options within pleasant environment.