“Mall of the World” — Inside Dubai’s Domed City
Though maybe not the world’s first bio-dome, if all goes as planned in Dubai, in 2020, the “Mall of the World” will be the world’s first domed city. According to a Tech Insider article, Dubai Holding plans on construction of an entire city within a dome — climate controlled housing of hundreds of buildings, thousands of hotel rooms, and a transportation system planned to be completed by 2020.
In communication with Tech Insider, Dubai Holding COO Morgan Parker said, “We are making good progress with the planning and thoughtful approach to the development of Mall of the World… It sits at the heart of Dubai and will be critical to the Emirate’s economic growth.”
For the sake of comparison, the Mall of America sits at 5.6 million square feet while the “Mall of the World” is planned to take up an outstanding 48 million square feet. Hundreds of specialists, architects, engineers, and urban planners are assigned to the project. Drafting and mapping 33 roads, over a million square feet of walkways, with additional bike paths, buses and gondolas (why this qualifies as a Gas2 article) — including what would be the largest indoor theme park the world has ever seen.
The mall/town will consist of retail, residential, office, hospitality, and entertainment spaces making up approximately 300 buildings to accommodate an estimated 180 million visitors a year, according to Dubai Holding.
Sounding more like something off the page of a sci-fi novel, skeptics could see the domed city as being a potential disaster of Titanic proportions. Just the upkeep alone on such a gargantuan structure would require monumental amounts of time and manpower. Dubai is home to such an economic letdown — the Dubai Islands were completed in 2008 but have yet to fulfill their hyped economic and developmental potential.
However, Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, and is aiming to eclipse that record by 500 feet with Jeddah Tower by 2019.
For a sneak peek at the endeavor, more stats, bangin’ music, and sweet CGI, here’s the promo video:
Note the trolley lines and walkable streets. Those are a nice sustainable plus, and things that are hard to sell in the hot desert environment of Dubai without climate control.