The project will cover an area of 3.5 million square metres. It will be located between the 829 metres-tall Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower and the Meydan racecourse in the emirate's centre.

The project's phase one is slated to be completed by 2020, the year Dubai will host The World Expo as the first ever Arab city.

Local newspaper tweeted its first impressions of the Meydan One project. Aside from the planned ski slope and ice rink,  the development will also introduce the world's largest fountain, capable of shooting water up to 420 metres high, according to a news agency.

The 1.5 km-long ice rink will be the world's longest. Hotels, residential properties, a shopping mall and a high-rise building called Meydan One Tower are included in the project.

Dubai already has an artificial indoor ski slope in Mall of the Emirates shopping centre, opened in November 2005.

As per Sheikh Mohammed's order, also Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai will double tourist numbers to an annual 20 million by 2020.

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