As construction on the largest retail and leisure complex in the Arab world continues to move forward, the Mall of the Emirates (MoE) seems to be well on track to meet the target completion date of September 2005.
Already 90 per cent of the MoE is leased and when complete, it will offer 2.4 million sq ft of prime shopping, leisure and entertainment space – making it the biggest mall outside North America.
Work on the project has progressed significantly during the past couple of months with the signing of the largest Harvey Nichols department store in the region and the addition of largest Carrefour hypermarket in Dubai. The complex would house Dubai Community Theatre and Art Centre, 14-screen multiplex cinemas, and two five-star hotels with a combined capacity of 900 rooms.
“We are at a crucial point in the development of the mall as the sheer scale of the project and the magnitude of the structure is phenomenal,” says Peter Walichnowski, CEO Majid Al Futtaim Investment.
The unfinished 300,000-sq-ft ski slope, the biggest indoor ski facility in the region, is rapidly shaping up and is now clearly visible from the Sheikh Zayed Road.
“We have separated the slope in various sections and it is large enough to accommodate the experts and beginner skiers and snow boarders in separate sections. Skiers will have easy access to the top of the slope through the chairlifts. Beyond doubt, this facility will be a destination in itself in the entire region,” says Ski Dubai general manager Younis Al Mulla.
With a gross built-up area of 6.5 million sq ft, this themed mall reflects the cultural heritage of the region through streets plazas and town squares incorporated within the mall architecture.
Work on the MoE started in October 2003 and the main contract was awarded to Khansaheb, while the snow resort contracts were awarded to Pomagalski.
Emirates Building System was awarded the contract for chairlifts and structural steel works. Bauer was selected for piling, while the snow dome piling was awarded to Al Naboodah Laing O’Rourke.
Bauer Spezialtiefbau’s Dubai subsidiary, the principal contractor on two of the three foundation works packages, has constructed 2,500 piles measuring 600, 750 and 1,000 mm in diameter up to a depth of 20 m in sandstone.
Bauer heavy-duty rotary drilling rigs in various sizes including BG 9, BG 15 and two BG 25s were employed for the task, says a Bauer spokesman.