Mall of the Emirates begins to take shape

An artist’s impression of the Mall of Emirates.

Construction on the Mall of the Emirates, the largest retail and leisure complex in the Arab world, is has begun following the awarding of the main contract to Khansaheb by Majid Al Futtaim Investments, the owners, who are investing Dh3 billion in this new project, generated from internal resources.

The Mall of the Emirates, formerly known as, Soukh Al Nakheel, will be ready to open in September 2005.
It will be located next to interchange number four on the Sheikh Zayed road in Dubai, in the Al Barsha district of the city. With over 350 shops and more than 2.4 million sq ft of prime retail and leisure space, it will be the biggest mall outside North America.
“We are delighted to be able to announce that we are beginning construction on one of the most ambitious retail and leisure projects anywhere in the world,” said Peter Walich-nowski, CEO at Majid Al Futtaim Investments.
Walichnowski was in charge of the development of the Bluewater project in London, Europe’s largest and most successful shopping centre, prior to joining Majid Al Futtaim.
“Majid Al Futtaim turned the shopping and entertainment landscape in the UAE on its head in the ‘90s with the opening of Deira City Centre, and Mall of the Emirates places Dubai on a truly global stage,” he added.
“The project will include several ‘firsts’ for the Middle East including the world’s biggest indoor ski resort, using real snow, the first time many people in this region will have ever seen snow,” Walichnowski said.
“Mall of the Emirates is on such a grand scale and offers such a unique total experience that Middle East and international residents and visitors will now choose Dubai instead of traditional destinations such as Europe and America for their special shopping arid leisure needs,” he added. “It will be an experience like no other.”
The mall development combines dramatic contemporary design with traditional Arabic architecture with every section having a distinctive style and atmosphere.
The interior will feature myriad arcades culminating in a galleria at the heart of the development, marked with a domed skylight 12 storeys in height, allowing light to flood into the galleria.
Even though construction is only now beginning on the mall, two leading retail companies, Broadway Trading and the Landmark Group, have already secured almost 300,000 sq ft of retail space, which will house more than 20 of the world’s most famous brands and outlets.
In addition to retailing, Mall of the Emirates will also include a hotel, the largest single-level Carrefour hypermarket in the Middle East, two major department stores, a 14-screen multiple cinema with VIP facilities, numerous food and beverage outlets in two food courts, and parking for 7,000 vehicles.
The hotel will be a five-star, deluxe, 400-suite property managed by an international operator, the name of which will be announced shortly once the final negotiations have been completed.
The Snow Resort contracts have been awarded to Pomagalski, Emirates Building Systems for chairlifts and structural steelwork, and Bauer taking care of the piling.