As projects go it was huge: build one of the world’s largest malls, with 500 shops, 90 restaurants and two hotels. The sheer scale of the Mall of the Emirates made it one of our biggest projects. Add the unprecedented request for a real snow ski slope and it also became one of our most challenging.
Six months in, construction value was increased by 250%. We reacted quickly, changing the programme, procurement, resources and logistics, with just a four week schedule extension. The design of the five star, 400-bed Kempinski hotel was altered just two months before opening. We removed the entire lobby area, before fitting a different design identity and new lighting. We still managed to complete on time, to the client’s delight.
“This is one of the most ambitious mall projects in the world, certainly outside of North America, and even now the construction site illustrates the sheer scale of the project and the fact we are on schedule is testament to the commitment of the entire team”
The project highlight – Ski Dubai – is surprisingly sustainable. Despite maintaining sub-zero internal temperatures, when outside it can exceed 40 degrees Celsius, high specification insulation means a relatively low energy demand. Snow is produced at a rate of 135 tonnes per day, to a minimum depth of three feet. The result is a world-class indoor snow experience.
Tough and determined teamwork
So much more than a construction project, not only did we help bring the concept of shopping resorts to the Middle East, but the inclusion of Ski Dubai brought critical acclaim from the industry. The results impressed the client, who said Mace’s innovative response to challenges made it “a project that in many ways showed the way forward for the industry on a global scale.”
“Majid Al Futtaim Properties has changed the face of shopping, entertainment and leisure in the Middle East. Driven by the vision of its chairman Majid Al Futtaim, the company has successfully brought the concepts of the mega mall and hypermarket to the region and combined them with high-quality leisure facilities, creating the unique concept of a shopping resort”