Majid Al Futtaim to develop mega mall

The Dhs3 billion Mall of the Emirates, formerly known as Souk Al Nakheel, is set to be the largest shopping complex outside North America.

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By  David Ingham Published  October 6, 2003

Majid Al Futtaim Investment's Mall of the Emirates, formerly known as Souk Al Nakheel, is set to be the largest shopping mall outside North America when it opens in 2005. The complex, located on the Sheikh Zayed Road, will consist of 2.4 million square feet of retail space, a 400 room hotel and a 400 metre long indoor ski slope.

Peter Walichnowski, chief executive officer of Majid Al Futtaim Investments, said that the project has been expanded to twice the size of the original plan after taking into account the projected growth in the Southern Dubai area. He described the development not as a shopping mall, but as a "destination resort."

"Mall of the Emirates is of such a grand scale, and offering such a unique total experience, that Middle East and international residents will now choose Dubai instead of traditional destinations, such as Europe and America, for their special shopping and leisure needs," said Walichnowski. "It will be an experience like no other."

Mall of the Emirates is a catalogue of statistics. The total project budget, including construction, adjacent roadworks and internal fitting, is estimated at Dhs3 billion, with the Al Futtaim Group contributing around Dhs2 billion of that. Projected footfall is 30 million visits per year; there will be parking space for 7000 cars; and the ski slope will have a vertical fall of 87 metres.

On the inevitable question of traffic, Walichnowski claims that computer software has been used to simulate the flow of cars in and out of the complex. He is confident that "traffic will flow freely, even at peak times."

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