Work has begun on the project to build an entertainment and hotel district in Dubai that will include the world's largest shopping mall.

United Arab Emirate’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, announced that substantial work on the development was now progressing, though details such as when construction would be completed, how much it would cost or how it would be financed were not disclosed.

Plans for the "Mall of the World" project were originally revealed 18 months ago.

Gulf News has reported that the latest version of the plans includes construction of a 743,000 square metre mall, connected to a theme park, theaters, medical tourism facilities and 100 hotels and serviced apartment buildings with 20,000 rooms.

The mall is expected to be temperature controlled so that the anticipated 180 million annual visitors can shop in comfort.  

The project will be the retail and hospitality showpiece development for the Expo 2020 set to be held in Dubai, alongside the planned mega convention centre and related infrastructure.

Courtesy Gizmodo and Gulf News