Dubai Plans to Build the World’s First Temperature-Controlled City (Video)

Slate’s design blog.
July 16 2014 12:02 PM

Dubai Plans to Build the World’s First Temperature-Controlled City

140712_EYE_DubaiMalloftheWorldphoto21
A rendering of Dubai's proposed Mall of the World, a temperature-controlled “city” that will consist of shopping, entertainment, and medical tourism facilities.

Image by Oliver Jackson. Courtesy of Dubai Holding.

This month Dubai announced grandiose plans to build “the world’s first temperature-controlled city, Mall of the World” in the Al Sufouh district.

Developers Dubai Holding estimate that the decadelong project, which does not yet have a start date, will require $6.8 billion in funding.

If all goes as planned, the self-contained shopping and entertainment complex will include a Broadway-style theater district, a pedestrian walkway modeled on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas, a 4.3-mile retail network of roads based on London’s Oxford Street, 20,000 hotel rooms, underground parking, an indoor family theme park, and a “wellness district” catering to medical tourists.

140712_EYE_MalloftheWorld5
A theater district inspired by New York City's Broadway.

Courtesy of Dubai Holding

Advertisement

The Mall of the World will be enclosed by glass roof domes that will produce an 8-million-square-foot temperature-controlled environment where tourists can shop till they drop without ever stepping outside into the punishing 100-degree-plus summer heat. (The glass roof domes will open to let fresh air in during cooler winter months.)

140712_EYE_MalloftheWorld2
A glass roof will keep the heat out in summer and open up during cooler winter months.

Courtesy of Dubai Holding

The concept of a temperature-controlled city is intriguing and futuristic. But there is something creepy about daring to call what amounts to a giant mall an actual city. Planned communities have always included room for commerce, but does a hermetically sealed environment designed for tourist-fueled consumption really have the right to call itself a city?

140712_EYE_DubaiMalloftheWorldphoto1
A view from the interior of the proposed Mall of the World.

Image by Oliver Doran. Courtesy of Dubai Holding.

To see more of the proposed design, check out the promotional video below:

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.