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Wed 2 Apr 2008 01:27 AM

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Dubai set to open new mammoth mall

1mn square metre shopping centre to feature 1,200 stores, indoor aquarium and Olympic-sized ice rink.

One of the world's largest shopping malls is set to open towards the end of the year in the booming Gulf retail paradise of Dubai, developers said on Tuesday.

The Dubai Mall - covering an area of around 1.1 million square meters - will feature 1,200 stores, an indoor aquarium and an Olympic-sized ice rink, the emirate's real estate developer Emaar said in a statement.

The development will dwarf the Mall of the Emirates, currently Dubai's largest retail centre, that also boasts an indoor ski slope and a luxury hotel.

It will incorporate double the amount of structural steel used for the Eiffel Tower, with stone and tile works already laid covering an area equivalent to 18 football fields. Nest leasable floor area will be equivalent to the size of 50 football fields put together, the statement said.

“The Dubai Mall reaffirms Downtown Burj Dubai’s standing as the new centre of the city,” said Jim Badour, head of Emaar's shopping malls division.

"It will be the region's premier shopping and entertainment destination for residents and a major attraction for Dubai's tourists."

The mall will be part of a wider multi-billion dollar development that includes the world's tallest tower.

The flagship project comes as part of the firm’s aggressive expansion plans to develop and operate malls in key emerging markets across the Mena region, the Indian Subcontinent and South Asia.

The main contract for the construction of the Dubai Mall was awarded to Dutco Balfour Beatty and Al Ghandi CCC in October 2004. Singapore’s DP Architects are the main architects, with Turner Construction International handling project management.

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