Dubai’s Mall of the World master plan revamped for transport system

The master plan for Dubai Holding’s Mall of the World has been reworked to make it a more transport-friendly location, said the development’s new chief operating officer Morgan Parker. The layout of the site has been changed to make it more “permeable”, with roads running through to create a series of retail boulevards.

An integrated transport hub linking the metro, three tram lines – including a branch to Arabian Ranches – and a major new bus interchange will also be a feature of the site, Mr Parker added.

“We hope to partner with the RTA and other government municipalities,” Mr Parker said. “Who pays for that, we haven’t worked out yet. The idea, though, is by creating this transport hub, we can create the highest value real estate in the city. Where there’s people, there’s vibrancy. And where there’s vibrancy and energy there’s value.”

When the Dh25bn Mall of the World project was first unveiled last year, Dubai Holding said that tenders for the first phase of the project were likely to be awarded in the first quarter of 2015, with a likely completion by the first quarter of 2018. That timetable now appears to have been ambitious.

For instance, Mr Parker said that 60 per cent of the Mall of the World site is still occupied by Dubai’s Police Academy. And although a new facility is being built to replace this, it is not likely to be ready for at least two years.

“The responsibility of moving Dubai’s Police academy, where all of the new recruits come in and get trained, is significant. It’s an important part of Dubai’s security apparatus.”

Designs are being worked up for the remaining 40 per cent of the site, but Mr Parker could not say when the project is likely to break ground. He said that the first phase would contain all five elements of the site’s wider offer – retail, office, residential, hospitality and entertainment.

“I’m not going to build 3,000 hotel rooms if there’s no demand for it. That would just be silly. It depends on market demand, the availability of land and the infrastructure required to service those buildings.”

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