Revealed: Mall of the World plans to press aheadby Ashleigh McGinley on Feb 9, 2016
Dubai is set to press head with plans to build the world's largest shopping mall despite an economic slowdown looming in the region.
Market demand however, will be assessed before proceeding with the later stages of the project, Reuters reported.
The Mall of the World project, which will emcompass 8,000,000 sq ft of shopping space, was announced in 2014 - just as oil prices began to slump.
Although oil makes litte direct contribtion to Dubai's economy, Reuters said its drop has dampened consumer and investor confidence in the Gulf's financial and tourist hub as neighbouring governments slash subsidies and economists cut growth forecasts.
Ahmad bin Byat, vice-chairman and managing director of Dubai Holding, said: "We will be reacting to the demands of the market. The project is massive and complex and will have to be built in stages."
He predicted that the first phase of the mall - which represents a quarter of the project's size - will be completed before Dubai hosts the Expo 2020 exhibition.
Bayt said the project will be funded through an equal split of Dubai Holding's internal resources, insitutional investors and debt.
the total bill is estimated at almost $22bn (AED80bn), with Dubai Holding providing "just shy" of $8bn (AED30bn).
'We're talking to advisors, financial investors, sovereign funds, many people," Bayt said.
"We have a lot of understandings with quite a few people. This is a mixed-use project which will be very interesting not only to locals but for the global market to invest in."
The Mall of the World, which will be connected to a theme park, will also boast 100 hotels and serviced apartments with 20,000 rooms.
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