Meraas Outlet has opened in October 2016 about 40km out of Dubai. This is the largest integrated theme park in the Middle East, and offers the best in family entertainment. The resort occupies a space of 7 million square meters, hosting three theme parks, a water park and a mall.
All over the world, malls are commonly designed with Italian architecture as a reference model because it offers a certain cultural dimension that represents a definite historical period and model of city life. For this reason, structures like these are often built in different contexts and geographic locations that are far from Italy. The Meraas Outlet faithfully reproduces a Tuscan city with its towers and narrow streets flanked by two and three storey buildings in stone and brick. The famous cities of San Giminiano and Siena were used as models. Carefully planned architectural design has allowed builders to reproduce gothic windows, arches, and ancient infills of doors and windows. They even reproduced niches in walls where pigeons nest and typical iron reinforcements on walls, installed through the centuries after earthquakes, which are very frequent in Italy.
The lighting designers of this project ordered bespoke luminaires that Neri made, preferring iron because it was typically used in medieval Tuscany. The first type is a bracket with a sphere and floral decorations. The second type is a wall-mounted bracket with a cylindrical light fixture. Lastly, the third type is a ceiling mounted luminaire, under a portico.
Neri’s experience in similar urban situations obviously made it easier for them to manufacture these new lights. Siena is the most important example in which Neri restored over 1,200 original square and circular iron lanterns, which transformed the city’s nocturnal image.