The upgrades are expected to cost Dhs850 million…

Ibn Battuta Mall already boasts the honour of being the largest themed shopping mall in the world.

But the retail giant is about to become even more impressive, with new additions worth Dhs850 million in the works, it has been announced.

Real estate developer Nakheel has started work on a 55-storey residential tower, 16-screen cinema and dining complex, multi-storey carpark and retail expansion, with an extra 53,000 square feet of shop space planned.

The new dine-in cinema will be built over four levels, and will offer both luxury and standard viewing packages. It will complement the mall’s existing 21-screen cinema, located at China Court.

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The retail extension will adjoin India Court, and will result in almost 30 new shops. It will be connected with the new residential tower, Ibn Battuta Residences 2.

Last year, a 300,000 square foot extension added 60 new shops, restaurants, cafes and services to the mall, bringing the total number of outlets to almost 400.

When the full expansion is complete, it is hoped Ibn Battuta Mall will transform into a mega retail, dining and leisure destination spanning seven million square feet, with more than 1,000 shops and attractions.

The mall is inspired by and named after the medieval Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta, who famously spent three decades exploring Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India, China and Andalusia.

The mall is made up of six different courts which are designed to represent each of the lands.

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