The Dubai Mall - Hero Image
The Dubai Mall
CLIENT Emaar Properties PJSC
DURATION 54 Months

The Dubai Mall


The colossal Dubai Mall is centrally located in the Downtown Burj Dubai Development, the most exclusive spot in Dubai. The Dubai Mall is surrounded by the Burj Dubai (the world’s highest building), the Dubai Mall Hotel (the Address), the Lake Hotel and the Lake Fountain. The Dubai Mall was constructed by the joint venture of CCC and Dutco Balfour Beatty.

Considered to be one of the largest shopping malls in the world, the Dubai Mall is the ultimate entertainment destination occupying some five million square meters of commercial property. The project comprises a four-storey 515,000 m2 Mall Area about the size of 50 soccer fields, a 550,000 m2 car parking area, and a district cooling plant building of 42,000 refrigeration tons. The Mall Area consists of four levels of the shopping area. The structure of the mall utilizes more than 13,000 tons of structural steel or around twice the amount utilized in the Eiffel Tower. The parking area accommodating a total of 14,500 vehicles is made up of two buildings with 10 levels of parking each and two levels of underground parking.

Considered to be one of the largest shopping malls in the world, the Dubai Mall is the ultimate entertainment destination
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  • More Information
  • The Challenges

More Information

The Dubai Mall which expects to attract around 30 million visitors in its first year of operation, accommodates 1,200 retail stores, over 120 food and beverage outlets, 95 elevators and 150 escalators and some key attractions:

  • The Dubai Aquarium, with its 270 degrees walkthrough tunnel and its world largest viewing window, houses more than 40,000 living specimens including more than 400 sharks. The Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centerclinched the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Acrylic Panel, measuring 32.88 meters wide x 8.3 meters high x 750 mm thick, and weighing 245,614 kg!
  • The Discovery Centre, an educational ecology and marine life experience.
  • The Olympic size Dubai Ice Rink with its giant 200m² LED screen.
  • The world’s largest indoor Gold Souk with over 220 retailers.
  • The Fashion Avenue, a dedicated haute couture precinct with a retractable fashion catwalk and a unique state-of-the-art dynamic LED multimedia feature.
  • The Grove a 260m long indoor and outdoor streetscape with a fully retractable roof.
  • The Entertainment Centre comprises SEGA Republic (a 76,000 sq ft high adrenaline indoor theme park), Kidzania (an 80,000 sq ft children’s “edutainment”), and Dubai’s largest Cineplex with 22 screens.
  • The Waterfall comprises two cylindrical structures, 30 metres in diameter and 24 metres high, with an overhead reservoir feeding the recycled water. Well-lit at night and reflecting sunlight by day, the Waterfall cascades through all four levels of the mall and is adorned with art sculptures of human divers made of fiberglass to create a dynamic visual spectrum that complements the rhythmic flow of water. The Dubai Mall opened its doors on November 8th 2008 and the Entertainment Centre will open by mid-2009.

The Challenges

The biggest challenge in the construction of the Dubai Mall was not the technical complexity, although the steel structures of over 13,000 tons are impressive, but the sheer scale and the variety of amazing architectural features, as well as the state-of-the-art multimedia and audio-visual and other electronic amenities which made this project extremely challenging. Due to the magnitude of the work, over 800 staff and some 10,000 labourers were mobilized for the Project bringing the total peak manpower on-site including sub-contractors and contractors to around 24,000. A significant part of the challenge was to manage the 29 nominated and over 40 domestic subcontractors. From the outset, it was clear that identification, recruitment, retention and management of large manpower resources were going to be one of the challenges during the construction boom in Dubai. To facilitate efficient management during construction and for the flow of the works, the Mall was segregated into six separate areas, each area was managed by a dedicated Construction Manager and his own resources. For structural reasons, the Mall was divided into 35 separate reinforced concrete buildings, with movement joints between them. These movement joints posed a major challenge to the design and installation of the roof skylights, which in most cases had to cover two or more buildings.