Shopping malls get bigger

The tallest building in the world, Burj Dubai, will be surrounded by the largest shopping complex in the world, Dubai Mall.

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By  David Ingham Published  November 19, 2003

Dubai's quest to have the biggest and best of everything continues. Emaar Properties' latest development, Dubai Mall, with its five million square feet of retail space, promises to be the largest shopping complex in the world when it opens in 2006.

That would outdo Edmonton Mall in Canada and the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. It also surpasses Majid Al Futtaim Group's Mall of the Emirates, whose 2.4 million square feet of retail space would have made it the largest mall outside North America when it was announced just a few months ago. Then there is Dubailand, the $5 billion resort development taking shape down the road, which also has an area set aside for retail development.

Keeping with the theme of biggest, Dubai Mall will be developed on the same site as Burj Dubai, which, it is promised, will be the world's tallest building when completed in 2007. The entire Dubai Mall development will cover nine million square feet, including residential space.

With construction of Mall of the Emirates and Nakheel's The Gardens underway and with retail development planned in Dubailand, questions about whether or not this is one more mall too many will inevitably be asked. Emaar, however, expects 35 million visitors to Dubai Mall in its first 12 months and annual footfall increases of up to 30% thereafter.

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