While some of the planet's richest nations are focused on the issue of climate change and how to lessen humanity's impact on the environment, officials in Dubai have plans that may ultimately eliminate the concern altogether by building a climate-controlled city.
Called the Mall the of the World, the 48 million square feet mini-metropolis would be the first city-sized enclosure to allow residents to completely avoid outside conditions for extended periods of time.
Using 4.5 miles of enclosed promenades, the vision of Dubai Holding, the developer of the project, is to allow visitors the ability to experience normal city life inside the controlled environment for weeks on end.
Although the idea of such a massive enclosure might seem off-putting some, because of Dubai's extreme summer temperatures, which average 104 degrees, the temperature-controlled environment could become the region's most popular destination. During Dubai's winter months, when temperatures average 73 degrees, the city's enclosed promenades will be opened to allow in the fresh air.
Included in the city will be 100 hotels and luxury apartments, a "wellness district" designed to attract medical tourists (an increasingly important aspect of Dubai's business development) and what the project's developers expect to be the largest theme park in the world.
"Tourism is key driver of our economy and we aim to make the UAE [the United Arab Emirates] an attractive destination all year long," said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, in a statement on Saturday. "This is why we will start working on providing pleasant temperature-controlled environments during the summer months."
Accompanying the announcement of the project, the developer also unveiled a slick teaser video (see above) showing off the design of the climate-controlled city, a futuristic set of images that bear a striking similarity to the kind of science fictional enclosed cities depicted in films like Logan's Run.
While the immediate intention of the Mall of the World may be to offer luxury in the middle of the desert, in the light of increasing pollution concerns in major cities like Beijing, the atmosphere-proof development may end up showing the entire world the way how such enclosed cities might work practically if we ever need them.
The company hasn't revealed how much the project will cost, nor when it will be completed, but given Dubai's history of successfully completing similarly ambitious development undertakings, there's little doubt about the viability of the project.
Tags: ARCHITECTURE, BUILDINGS, CLIMATE, DUBAI, TOURISM, TRAVEL & LEISURE, UAE, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, US & World, WORLD