Not in China, but this colossal $30 billion city sits abandoned in Dubai. Ambitious even for the Middle East, it was to have a 1.2 km long indoor ski slope, a Venetian-style canal system and the world’s largest dancing fountain. But now, it remains strangely empty in the desert. | News Bharat

The UAE is the epitome of all things magnificent and larger than life. Dubai, in particular, has managed to create and hold records for having the tallest, most beautiful buildings and even the largest observation wheel in the world. Still, sometimes even dazzling Dubai fails to realize ambitions. One example is Meydan City, the ambitious $30 billion venture left to rot as an abandoned city in Dubai. What could have been the crowning glory of the Middle East bit the dust within a span of six years, with Meydan Real Estate almost becoming a mirage in the desert. However, had it been completed, the city would have been great and, in true Dubai style, broken a couple of world records. Take a tour of the city of Meydan, which may have been the ultimate example of architecture, luxury and technology.

Fantastic features of a $30 billion megacity
A vision of UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the $30 billion Meydan City would be home to no less than 80,000 residents occupying 40 million square feet. The city would house the world’s most splendid residential tower, a race track, a large ski resort and much more.

The Meydan One shopping center.

The highlight of the area was Meydan One Mall, a luxury haven offering more than 500 shops, 100 restaurants, hotels, clubs, a plaza, IMAX and entertainment with bubble cells. This mall was to have something that no other mall has, a huge retractable roof that would measure 150 by 80 meters. Just to give you an idea, the length of a football field is 105 meters (345 feet).

Large even for Dubai, the resort was to have the largest ski slope in the world.

The highlight of this magnanimous project was the 1.2 km long indoor ski slope. It would certainly have been the largest in the world and would be twice as long as the current record holder AlpinCenter in Bottrop, Germany. At the base of the slope would be a 25,000-square-foot rink that would comfortably seat 8,000 people and serve as a mixed-use venue for concerts and sporting events.

A four km long canal was to add charm to the waterfront residences.

Only Dubai can fit in a frozen ski resort and canal system like Venice as one of the means of transport in the wonderful city of Meydan. The 4 km long (2.5 mi) canal would include shops, luxury hotels, restaurants and residences.

The Meydan One tower.

The residential tower was to rise to 2,332 feet (Burj Khalifa stands at 2,720 feet) with 885 luxurious private residences. If that’s not luxurious enough, there were plans for a five-star hotel with 350 rooms to impress hedonistic visitors. The tower would also include the world’s highest restaurant, treating guests to gourmet cuisine 675 meters above the ground. The city of Meydan was impressive from the start, welcoming guests to a world of opulence with a gigantic fountain that could shoot water up to 1250 feet into the air.

The Meydan One fountain.

It is taller than the Bank of America tower in New York City and nearly equals the Empire State Building. Also, to put it into perspective, the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas only shoot water at a height of 460 feet.

The impressive water works extend into a huge water park full of attractions and services. Planned in 2013, the project finally began construction in 2015 with its first residential phase, the Meydan Sobha. The first phase included a man-made lake, with kayaks and rowing boats. For visitors to take a break from the heat, there was a huge water park with two huge wave pools and various rides. It also had to have a lagoon inspired by the South Seas that overlooked the lagoon. One of the highlights of the park was to be a bridge jump that would plunge guests into the crystal lagoon.

The Dubai World Cup held at the Meydan Racecourse has become one of the most prestigious and richest sporting events.

Although most of the above remain flat, the Meydan attracts thousands of visitors each year to the racetrack which opened in March 2020.

The enormous scale of the city of Meydan.

Why did the city of Meydan not see the light?
The Covid-19 pandemic was not kind to anyone, and that included Meydan Real Estate. In 2021, the company filed for bankruptcy, leaving them penniless and over $4 billion in debt. According to Bloomberg, the company’s debts are tied to the construction of a giant shopping center project that remains unfinished (most likely the Meydan One Mall).

Current status of the project

The company’s growing problems and failure to pay contractors eventually forced Dubai to set up a separate tribunal to hear all claims against the developer in 2019. Although Dubai continues to shine even without the splendid city of Meydan would certainly have been a great addition to the greatness that Dubai has to offer.

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