The Dubai Mall: World's Largest Shopping and Recreation Complex The world's largest shopping mall opened its doors for business on November 4, 2008. The Dubai Mall, located at the heart of Dubai City and part of the Burj Dubai, has a total area of 1,124,000 sq. m. (12.1 million sq. ft.), surpassing the 890,000 sq. m. (9.58 million sq. ft.) area of the New South China Mall, which opened three years earlier in Dongguan, China. To give you a better picture of how large the Dubai Mall is, its total area is comparable to the size of about fifty soccer fields. Its total internal floor area is 548,128 sq. m. (5.9 million sq. ft.), and its leasable space is equivalent to 350,244.5 sq. m. (3.77 million sq. ft.). Inside it are about 15 distinct malls. The amount of materials used so far in the construction of Dubai Mall speaks of the massiveness of this shopping and recreation complex: more than 13,800 tons of structural steel; more than 179,303 sq. m. (1.93 million sq. ft.) of stone and tile works; and more than 2,600 pieces of external pre-cast completed. The Dubai Mall houses a total 1,200 shops, likewise making it the mall with the largest number of retailers in the world. About 600 of these shops participated in the mall's opening (i.e., they opened their doors as well for business), making that day the biggest-ever single-day mall opening in the history of the retail industry. On the average, some 750,000 shoppers and plain leisure seekers visit the Dubai Mall every week. In April 2009, it registered about 3 million visitors - the highest single-month total so far since its opening. Be awed by these features and attractions of the Dubai Mall: • Gold Souq, with 220 retailers (the largest commercial quarter in any Arab city). • Fashion Island Avenue, an haute couture-dedicated area with 70 stores. • Fashion Catwalk atrium, with an area of 79,000 sq. m. (850,000 sq. ft.). • Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre (which recorded a total 60,000 ticket sales during the first 5 days following the mall's opening), which showcases some 33,000 aquatic animals. • Galeries Lafayette, the first French department store company in the Middle East. • WaterFront Atrium. • Oasis Fountain Waterfall. • SEGA Republic, the first SEGA indoor theme park in the Middle East, with an area of 7,100 sq. m. (76,000 sq. ft.). • Cineplex, the largest cinema complex in Dubai, with 22 screens. • KidZania, a family entertainment and education center, with an area of 7,400 sq. m. (80,000 sq. ft.). • Hamleys, a franchise of the British toy shop giant, with an area of 3,000 sq. m. (32,000 sq. ft.). • 220 jewelry and gold outlets. • 3 car parks, with more than 14,000 parking spaces, fully equipped with a car-locator ticketing system. All these, and more, are manned by Dubai Mall's over 13,000-strong workforce. There are several roads visitors can take to get to the Dubai Mall. The access road most visitors prefer to take is the double-decker road Financial Centre Road (formerly called Doha Street).
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