Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates that is home to creations and projects beyond our wildest Western dreams (all paid for with oil money), has announced it will begin building a new mega shopping center called Mall of the World, which will be the biggest mall on planet Earth.
Everything about this mall, the plans for which were unveiled last week, destroys the American tradition of meandering from the Orange Julius stand and into the Claire's accessories for a new pair of jelly bracelets. There will be no fucking Orange Julius at this mall. An orange tree that grows oranges and then robotically spills that juice into a cup without the assistance of a juicer, sure. A program that aids investment in the orange trade so you may one day be a multi-billion dollar orange magnate, probably.
According to a report in The Guardian, the Mall of the World is slated to be a gigantic 48 million square feet. But what will be housed in all those delicious shellacked and shiny corners??
- "a vast 'cultural celebration centre,' shaped like a disco ball sliced in half and hollowed out to form a glittering backdrop to an outdoor amphitheater"
- the "largest indoor theme park in the world"
- a three million square foot "wellness district"
- four and a half miles of hermetically sealed avenues (to protect from the Dubai heat)
- 20,000 hotel rooms
- 50,000 parking spaces
- avenues that are meant to mimic popular streets in other cities, like Las Ramblas in Barcelona and Broadway in New York
- an open roof to enjoy the "balmy winter"
The mall is set to be the UAE's primary focus at 2020's World Expo trade fair when Dubai's nationally-owned development company, Dubai Holding, presents it to investors. According to The Guardian, this project, like a few others, has the potential to be embarrassingly backburnered.
Dubai Holding is no stranger to dreaming big – but it hasn't always had an easy ride. Back in 2003, the company launched an ambitious plan for Dubailand, a gargantuan $64bn (£37bn) leisure district, planned to cover an area of 278 sq km, making it three times bigger than Walt Disney World. Slated to house 200 attractions, from a giant Legoland to a Marvel superheroes theme park, it was put on hold in 2008 – although cranes are once again moving and the first phase, the Miracle Garden, opened last year.
If history has proven anything, though, it's that people fucking love malls. But don't let me be the one to convince you. Try out this super action-movie-style video clip that flies over the digital model of the Mall of the World to reveal an aerial view of a new frontier, a new world to be explored, all engrained with the possibility that mega-malls might be the newest development in city planning.
[Images via Getty]