ABOUT DUBAI

Dubai city will feature world class leisure facilities for 35 million visitors

Ten iconic malls in Dubai

Dubai is indeed a shopper's paradise, with a host of malls available for the enjoyment of residents and tourists alike. We take a look at ten shopping and entertainment centres that have made their mark

Dubai:The world''s largest mall to be built in Dubai could cost approximately Dh10 billion, according to some analyst estimates.

The Mall of the World, part of the planned Mohammad Bin Rashid City, may cost an estimated Dh10 billion, said Shane Eldstrom, director of education at the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres.

The announcement of the mega-project on Saturday did not include details of cost or timeline.

The mall is expected to attract a mix of international retail brands from China, India and the Far East as well as interest from UK and Europe and food and beverage outlets from the US, according to Craig Plumb, the head of research with Jones Lang Lasalle.

"New city to rise within Dubai" - Shaikh Mohammad

The new city will feature world class leisure facilities for 35 million visitors.The new Mohammad Bin Rashid City will be located between Emirates Road, Al Khail Road and Shaikh Zayed Road, and will include Mohammad bin Rashid Gardens Project.

Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced the establishment of a new city within Dubai, setting new benchmarks in urban development in the region.

Comprising four key components, the new city, which will be called Mohammad Bin Rashid City, will feature world class leisure facilities and provide an integrated environment for the development of entrepreneurship and innovation.

The first component focuses on family tourism, and will include a park that is equipped to receive 35 million visitors and the largest family centre for leisure and entertainment in the Middle East, Africa Indian subcontinent and region. This centre will be set up in collaboration with Universal Studios and include over 100 hotel facilities to meet the needs of visitors from the region.

The second component, focusing on retail, will feature the largest shopping mall in the world. The third component will include the largest area for arts galleries in Mena. The fourth component will see the development of a unique area that will provide an integrated environment for entrepreneurship and innovation in the region

Making the announcement, Shaikh Mohammad stressed that, "The current facilities available in Dubai need to be scaled up in line with the future ambitions for the city. Therefore we have to start work immediately on the third phase of development that is aligned to our Vision till 2030 and boost the UAE economy to enable it to enter a new era in which it will become the capital of entrepreneurship, arts, culture, and family tourism for over 2 billion people."

He highlighted that the current accelerated growth rates require Dubai to start immediate preparations for the future because within just six years, the number of passengers passing through Dubai airport will reach more than 90 million people.

"Our development initiatives concerning infrastructure in all sectors should be aligned with this growth rate and we have the determination to reach our objectives and be the first in the region to achieve them," Shaikh Mohammad said.

The new city will be located between Emirates Road, Al Khail Road and Shaikh Zayed Road, and will include Mohammad bin Rashid Gardens Project. It will be connected to Downtown Dubai and Business Bay through a crossing that will be named the "Cultural Crossing" which will include art galleries and create the largest area for arts in the region.

"Mohammad Bin Rashid City" will feature a massive park which will be 30 per cent bigger than Hyde Park in London. It will be surrounded by the largest mall in the world called "Mall of the World", which will be capable of receiving 80 million visitors a year, and include over 100 hotel facilities to meet the requirement for accommodation.

"Mall of the World" will be connected to a family entertainment centre which will be developed in collaboration with Universal Studios International. This centre will be the largest in the region and is expected to attract 6 million visitors each year.

"Mohammad Bin Rashid City" will be designed keeping in mind global environmental standards, and will include a specialised area in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

This area will provide an integrated environment to support entrepreneurship and attract talents looking for a platform to support their projects and innovations in various sectors, paving the way for a new economy based on knowledge, creativity and innovation.

The new city will include residential areas built on green building standards in terms of energy consumption, waste treatment and conservation of natural environment.

It will also feature a number of golf courses under well-known international names. The new city project will be implemented by Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties and will be marked as the biggest joint venture in real estate industry regionally.

The tourism sector in Dubai is growing by 13 per cent annually; with growth in hotel revenue exceeding 22 per cent to reach more than Dh 16 billion. The hotel occupancy rate was 82 per cent in the year 2011, which was the highest globally, and the number of visitors to Dubai Mall reached 62 million in 2012, with 25 per cent growth in retail sales in 2011.

In attendance at the announcement were. Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, other shaikhs and senior officials.

Dubai plans $2.7 billion theme park

Dubai plans to build a $2.7 billion complex with five theme parks, including one on India's Bollywood cinema industry, to expand its tourism sector. (Courtesy: Meeras Holding)

Dubai plans to build a 10 billion dirham ($2.7 billion) complex with five theme parks, including ones based on movies and characters from Hollywood and Bollywood cinema industry, to expand its booming tourism sector, the Dubai ruler's office said on Monday.

Local real estate developers Meraas Holding has been chosen to develop the project, the first stage of which is expected to be completed by 2014, the office of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said in a statement on its website.

Located near Dubai's Jebel Ali port area, the complex is to include an adventure park featuring Hollywood brands, a marine park, a children's park and a night safari.

Meraas has formed partnerships with several major film studios in Mumbai to obtain content for the Bollywood Parks section, which will include a theatre showing Broadway-style musicals, the statement said. In addition, the water and marine life park will feature aquatic life, rides and live performances, while a children's theme park will include entertainment designed for toddlers, preschoolers and primary school children. A night safari will showcase wild desert themed attractions, the statement said.

A tourism boom and a nascent recovery in Dubai's property market has prompted the emirate to announce a string of projects this year. On Saturday, Sheikh Mohammed unveiled plans for a tourism and retail development which, he said, would include 100 hotels and the largest shopping mall in the world.

Chairman of Meraas Holding, Abdulla Ahmed Mohammed Al Habbai said that "Meraas has been working with several industry experts to bring together a powerful mix of components that fulfill the need for a pure entertainment-based destination."

"The new initiative comes in response to Dubai's status as a top global touristic destination which will contribute to the growth of the economy," he added.

Al Habbai also said that the "first-of-its kind" complex features innovative attractions, food menu and theme parks that will be complementing Dubai's existing leisure dynamic scene.

The announcement comes just days after Sheikh Mohammed launched plans to build a new multi-billion dollar project called Mohammed Bin Rashid City. The new city development will be built by Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties, which will include the world's biggest shopping mall, a Universal Studios theme park and a green space a third bigger than Hyde Park in London