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Dubai’s Mall of the World plans not scaled down; work to begin next year

Dubai’s Mall of the World plans not scaled down; work to begin next year

The project still planned to have world’s largest shopping destination

The massive Mall of the World project being developed by state-owned Dubai Holding is not being downsized, the company’s vice chairman and managing director Ahmed Bin Byat confirmed on Tuesday.

The project is still planned to have the world’s largest shopping destination, he told reporters on the sidelines of the World Government Summit.

“It is not being downsized, but the project is getting re-sized – basically with regards to the offering and how we are going to deliver it. It is a very large and complex project and we are really spending enough time to plan for it so that we can produce something that is very interesting and provides a real value addition to Dubai,” he said.

Last month, the project’s chief operating officer had said that plans were scaled down because of the slowdown in the market.

However Byat asserted that the company was not reducing investment in the project.

Estimated to cost roughly Dhs 80bn ($21bn), the mega project will be funded by a mixed basket of investors, he said.

While a third of the funding – just shy of Dhs 30bn – will be provided by Dubai Holding, the remaining amount will be raised from investors and debt.

“We are talking to advisors, financial investors and sovereign funds and we have signed understandings with quite a few people,” Byat said.

The mixed use project is drawing interest from local as well as global investors, he added.

Mall of the World will be divided into four phases with the first phase slated for completion before Expo 2020.

Phase one will comprise at least 25 per cent of the entire project with construction slated to begin next year, Byat confirmed.

Work on the project will continue based on market demand, he added without disclosing any overall completion date.

Launched in 2013 as a 48 million sq ft climate-controlled development, Mall of the World was originally slated to house the world’s largest shopping mall and the world’s largest indoor theme park.

The project was also intended to include a wellness zone, a cultural celebration district and 100 hotels and serviced apartment buildings with 20,000 rooms.

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