An observation tower with views over one of Dubai’s signature developments and a fresh approach to a vastly underused part of the city’s transport network are two of the features of a retail project currently underway from architects RSP.
The Nakheel Mall, located on the Palm Jumeirah was first conceived in 2012 and will be the first large scale commercial project on the man-made island. Among its features will be a 200m tall observation tower, while the existing Dubai monorail which runs the length of the Palm, will cut through the centre of the structure,
RSP project director Ralf Steinhauer said: “The mall was envisaged and designed as a totally integrated development where there is much more than just retail to attract and offer to residents and tourists.
“RSP believes that this approach is the future of all large scale mall projects.”
The architects said the development would add a new attraction to Dubai and make far greater use
of an under-developed part of the city, which is currently home to luxurious villas and hotels but – water park aside – is not really on the map as a tourist destination.
The Nakheel Mall is planned to have a total leasing area of over 300,000m2 and will also feature a 200-room five star hotel, 500 serviced apartments and the viewing deck offering panoramic sea views and a look back on the city skyline.
Steinhauer said: “The observation platform is an integrated component of the project from the initial master plan. The unique location of the mall located at the heart of the Palm has allowed the architects to develop an observation platform 200m above sea level. The visitors at the mall can get a high speed lift directly from the food and beverage plaza to the observation level.”
RSP director Prabhanjan Kambadur said the tower will allow visitors a unique perspective on Dubai.
“It will be the first time – except from the air – that people will be able to see the whole of The Palm. The 360 degree view will take in the Burj al Arab the Burj Khalifa and all the city out to Arabian Ranches. As well as views out across the sea it will offer an unrivalled view of the city skyline.”
The monorail, which now has a link to the Dubai Tram, will also be a fundamental part of the design as it runs under the roof and above the stores, walkways, plazas and restaurants.
The rail tracks will also run through an art installation at the heart of the development which will be in the form of a massive crystal.
“A glass enclave will allow visitors to look up at the trains as they pass,” said RSP director Michael MaGill. “The building is actually being constructed around the monorail, integrating public transport is a vital part of the project as it is the most sustainable way to bring in visitors.”
Other forms of access to the mall through multiple modes include, pedestrian walkways from an adjacent park and routs to the basement from adjoining roads. Three levels of basement parking have been designed to allow vertical and multiple entries into the building.
The architects say the mall has “morphed into a new type of development” where the retail is a component of a larger vision.
Steinhauer explained: “This new typology of building has been driven by the commercial demands of the owner to maximize footfall within the development throughout an eighteen hour day and 365 days of the year.
“The Nakheel Mall will have a wide range of international retail brands which will be complemented with numerous food and beverage outlets. The roof-scape has been designed as a restaurant plaza with integrated landscape and water features.
“The other attraction is to use elements like water and glass crystals to punctuate and highlight key nodes within the mall to drive the footfall to all retail spaces. The Mall will also house a variety of public amenities, as well as a state-of-the-art gym and fitness centre, a multi-screen cinema and a host of other entertaining attractions to ensure it offers everything visitors require to make their shopping experience as enjoyable and convenient as possible.”
He added: “I believe the mall will also attract visitors internationally and build on Dubai as a world class tourist destination. “