Dubai Holding has announced amendments to plans for its $6.8 billion Mall of the World project, focusing on improving access and transport links to the mega development.
“While everyone is waiting for us to ‘build, build, build’, there are real serious issues we are dealing with,” Morgan Parker, Dubai Holding's newly appointed chief operating officer told The National newspaper.
The main aim of the changes will be to refocus the project as a "mixed-use centre," rather than a low density urban development, Parker added.
“That change takes a few years to plan because it has implications on traffic systems. If we don’t get that change right, then I’m fearful of what the result can be.”
Work is due to start on the 48 million square foot project in 2016, with phase one likely to be completed in 2018.
“What has changed is the way in which we’ve been thinking about the development. If you just build 3.5 million square metres of stuff on the site in the way other developers do, we are going to contribute to congestion,” Parker said of the improved transport links.
The Mall of the World site will be served by two existing Dubai Metro stations – Mall of the Emirates and Sharaf DG - but it will also be linked to the Dubai Tram network in Dubai Marina and a new line will also be built linking it to Arabian Ranches.
The plans will also include an improved road network, which will result in a series of tree-lined boulevards and a series of new green areas.
“The problem with the site is that it’s right on Sheikh Zayed Road. Most people think, ‘Isn’t that great?’ but if you’ve ever been on Sheikh Zayed Road, it’s a barrier. People are going along there at 100km an hour and getting on and off it is problematic," Parker said of the reasoning behind the transport upgrades.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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