International News - Madrid's megamall and snow sensation poised to open

Spanish shoppers will be offered retail paradise - and a winter wonderland - when Madrid's giant Xanadu mall opens on May 18.

The EUR320 million (£225 million) complex will be the biggest mall in Spain, with the dual attraction of 240 stores plus Snow Dome - Europe's biggest indoor snow sports facility, complete with ski run and 100 fake pine trees - under one roof.

US developer Mills Corp and Spanish department store group El Corte Ingles, which will boast a flagship store at the site, have sunk EUR250 million (£176 million) and EUR70 million (£39 million) respectively into the initial 135,000 sq m phase.

The centre expects to attract 25 million to 30 million visitors annually with its heady mix of retail and leisure - there is also a 15-screen cinema, 30 restaurants, and a go-karting track.