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Dubai’s Plan to Build the World’s Largest Shopping Centre


Call me old fashioned but when I go to a shopping mall I go to shop. Admittedly a coffee-to-go in one arm is an essential requirement and naturally a lunch stop is usually required so I completely accept the need for a few non-fashion based services in a shopping centre, but I cannot say I have ever stood in a changing room and suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to spontaneously attend a theme park or theatre show. Therefore I cannot help but question whether Dubai’s plan to build the world’s largest shopping mall complete with a Broadway inspired region and indoor theme park can truly be considered a shopping mall? 


The new mall will be even bigger than the world’s current biggest mall in Dubai (pictured above)

Perhaps I am being a bit cynical. After all on countless occasions I have witnessed people being dragged around shopping centres desperately hoping their shopaholic companion might finally call it a day and at least Dubai’s offering of a multi serving experience not only housing shops might well please these unenthusiastic shoppers who seek an escape from the seemingly endless rails of clothing they are faced with. However I must admit as an absolute shopaholic myself I can’t help but sway more towards the belief that a shopping centre of this magnitude should actually be considered a small city rather than an indoor mall.

The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum who unveiled the colossal plans has always emphasised the heavy reliance placed on tourism in Dubai’s economy. But should a shopping mall traditionally designed to serve the fashion conscious public be turned into a spectacle of numerous opportunity? Naturally I cannot deny that London’s West End and New York’s Broadway are within extremely close proximity to retail stores, but the two industries are rarely thought of as ‘together’. It would be nigh impossible to separate the two industries in Dubai’s mall for they are being built deliberately together. Ultimately the question being asked by Dubai’s mall with its hotels, apartments, theme park and theatre district is Does such extravagancy undermine the value of fashion? Is the simple art of shopping now considered too boring alone?

Of course I do not think that fashion as a whole is being undermined and undeniably the sheer coverage and investment the industry receives globally credits its value and meaning to people, however I cannot help feel that in the capacity in which Dubai is putting it in, fashion is being thrown into a whirlwind of commercial tourism.

Who can deny that a climate controlled dome is pretty epic and as a piece of ground breaking infrastructure this project is deserving of admiration; however its commitment to the fashion world is certainly questionable as I cannot help but fear the appeal of the mall will be its grandness and will overshadow the talent of designers showcasing their work in the mall’s stores. I guess time will tell as to whether this centre can establish itself as a fashion capital like London and New York but as I am sure you can tell from the tone of my article…I have my reservations.

By Ellie Tutt

Mall of the World will have climate-controlled street grid, 100 hotels and apartment buildings and a covered theme park, the cost and completion date have yet to be revealed.

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