The 12 million square foot [1.12 million square metre] development features an Olympic-size ice-skating rink, a 2.2 million gallon [10 million litre] aquarium, a 22-theatre Cineplex, scores of food outlets, a kids’ zone and an indoor theme park.
Emaar hopes to attract three million visitors to the mall annually by 2015. “The Dubai Strategic Plan … aims to reach an annual target of attracting 15 million tourists by 2015. This, in turn, translates to greater purchasing power and a demand for world-class retailing,” said Emaar Properties Chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar. “The Dubai Mall is a response to that demand and will be the choice retail and leisure destination regionally and a magnet for tourists across the globe.”
The Dubai Mall opened at the base of another Emaar project, the 818-metre tall Burj Dubai, now under construction. Both projects are central to Emaar’s Dubai City Centre, a $20 billion [USD] venture to create a new downtown for the oil-rich emirate.