A new project announced for Dubai — Mohammed bin Rashid City — will have four key components, including a family tourism centre in collaboration with Universal Studios and the largest shopping mall in the world.
The tourism sector in Dubai is growing by 13% annually, with growth in hotel revenue exceeding 22% to reach more than Dh16 billion (€3.4 billion). The hotel occupancy rate was 82% in the year 2011, which was the highest globally, and the number of visitors to Dubai Mall reached 62 million in 2012, with 25% growth in retail sales in 2011.
Announcing the project, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said 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,” he said. “We have a vision and high aspirations. The future does not wait for those who are hesitant. We do not anticipate the future. We build it.”
The first component of Mohammed bin Rashid City 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, the Indian subcontinent and the 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 the Mena region. The fourth component will see the development of a unique area that will provide an integrated environment for entrepreneurship and innovation in the region.
Sheikh Mohammed added: “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 two billion people.”
The new city will be located between Emirates Road, Al Khail Road and Sheikh Zayed Road, and will include the Mohammed 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.
Mohammed bin Rashid City will feature a massive park that will be 30% 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 accommodation requirement of the tourist city.
Mall of the World will be connected to a family entertainment centre that will be developed in collaboration with Universal Studios International. This centre will be the largest in the region and is expected to attract six million visitors each year.
Mohammed 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.