The Guardian reports on Dubai's latest project to build the Mall of the World, an indoor city, complete with galleons, waterfalls, a giant retractable dome and entirely climate-controlled. Among its many and excessive features, the city will include replicas of London's Oxford Street and New York's Broadway.
A kind of pick'n'mix urban collage, the project samples bits of cities from around the world with gay abandon. There will be a "celebration walk" modelled on Barcelona's Las Ramblas, a bustling billboard-lined theatre district modelled on New York's Broadway, and a shopping area based on London's Oxford Street – all sealed under snaking bubble rooftops.
There will be 20,000 hotel rooms and enough parking for 50,000 vehicles, servicing the largest shopping mall in the world, at 8 million sq ft (750,000 sq m). The centrepiece will be a vast "cultural celebration centre," shaped like a disco ball sliced in half and hollowed out to form a glittering backdrop to an outdoor amphitheatre. It will lead, via a triumphal covered avenue lined with spear-like towers, to a retractable glass dome worthy of Kubla Khan, beneath which will sprawl the "largest indoor theme park in the world." A place of fairytale castles and tumbling waterfalls, it will be protected from the blistering 40C heat in summer like the rest of the complex, and open up in winter to enjoy the balmy climate.
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