Dubai is launching a project to build an entertainment and hotel district that will include the world’s largest shopping mall.

The emirate’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum announced ambitious ” Mall of the World” project boasting of the world’s first temperature-controlled city.

“The project will be built in phases in alignment with the gradual growth of family tourism in Dubai,” said Mohammed Abdullah al-Gergawi, chairman of Dubai Holding, which is Sheikh Mohammed’s personal investment vehicle and will develop the project.

mall-of-the-world

The latest version of the plans includes construction of an 8 million square foot (743,000 square metre) mall, connected to a theme park, theatres, medical tourism facilities and 100 hotels and serviced apartment buildings with 20,000 rooms.

The complex would be able to host 180 million visitors annually. Seven kilometres (4.4 miles) of promenades connecting the facilities would be opened to the air during the winter but covered and air-conditioned during the hot Gulf summer.