Whether mall or shopping center, shopping center, super mall, mega mall. They all refer to a complex consisting of a series of different stores, service providers, restaurants and cafés, and entertainment venues.
A distinction is made primarily in terms of geographic coverage and the size of the sales area. The large malls/shopping centers attract consumers or vacationers who often spend a whole day there. Some even spend several days including accommodation in an integrated hotel in one of the world’s largest malls to enjoy a comprehensive shopping and entertainment experience.
Cinemas, hotels, apartments and meeting rooms, sports facilities or even a zoo complete the offer after ever new attractions to attract potential customers.
Now, below is our list of the 11 largest malls in the world based on the size of the “gross leasable area”.
11. SM City North EDSA: 5,351,960 sq ft (497,213 m²)
SM City North EDSA is a shopping mall located in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. It is the country’s first SM Supermall, the largest shopping mall in the Philippines and one of the largest shopping malls in the world.
When it opened in 1985, it had a gross floor area of 120,000 square meters. Over the years, SM City North EDSA has been expanded and remodeled several times.
SM City North EDSA has over 1100 stores, which are spread over a total of 9 different buildings. Other highlights include the Sky Garden with its linear park garden, the Sky Dome with 1,500 seats, a lifestyle center and a hypermarket.
10. One Utama: 5,590,000 sq ft (519,328 m²)
1 Utama is a shopping center in the Bandar Utama suburb of the Malaysian city of Petaling Jaya. More than 400,000 m² of retail space is available on six main levels.
Every weekday, according to the operator, 1 Utama sees 60,000 to 90,000 visitors and as many as 120,000 on weekends. 1 Utama, often unofficially spelled One Utama, is one of the most famous shopping malls in Malaysia.
The U-shaped building is divided into sections, each of which has been given a name. These sections house special branches of the mall, such as the High Street section mainly offers fashion stores of a nobler class. Furthermore, there are the sections Rainforest, Entertainment Zone, Oval, Courtyard with a range of catering facilities, Center Court and Promenade.
The two atriums host performances or exhibitions almost daily to attract visitors. Among the more than 600 stores there are also two cinemas, one of them with ten halls.
9. Mall of America: 5,600,000 sq ft (520,257 m²)
Opened since 1992, the Mall of America is the destination of more than 42 million visitors from all over the world every year. In addition to first-class shopping and modern dining options, the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the U.S. offers fun and entertainment for the whole family with its attractions.
Covering more than 45 acres, the mall is home to stores as well as the nation’s largest indoor family theme park, Nickelodeon Universe; the EMS Entertainment Exhibit Center; the SEA Life Minnesota Aquarium; a Hard Rock Café; Moose Mountain Adventure Golf; the Theatre at Mall of America, a 14-screen movie theater; and the Radisson Blu Mall of America, a 500-room hotel connected to the Mall of America by a pedestrian bridge.
8. ICONSIAM: 5,650,000 sq ft (525,000 m²)
ICONSIAM opened in November 2018. It is by far Thailand’s largest commercial real estate project and one of the largest luxury department stores in all of Asia. The ICONSIAM complex includes the Millennium Hilton Bangkok and two skyscrapers with residential residences and office space that are among the tallest buildings in Bangkok. The actual tourist attraction, however, is the shopping center that has already opened.
It houses some 500 stores and 100 restaurants from more than 30 countries on eight floors and some 525,000 sq. m. of retail space, and in addition to the seemingly endless shopping and dining options, it also offers a wide range of art, culture and lifestyle activities.
7. CentralWorld: 5,900,000 sq ft (550,000 m²)
Located with a total area of approximately 800,000 m2, the CentralWorld Mall is located in Thailand’s vibrant capital city of Bangkok. The CentralWorld has an eventful past of renovations, functions and name changes.
From the former World Trade Center to a modern 550.000 m² shopping center with more than 500 stores and about 100 gastronomic offers. Furthermore a 5* hotel, a cinema with 15 halls, an event center and a huge office complex, shopping enthusiasts from Thailand and all over the world can enjoy this now ultra-modern shopping temple. Easily accessible by BTS Skytrain.
6. Central Plaza WestGate: 5,923,140 sq ft (550,278 m²)
The Central Placa Westgate is one of the largest malls in Thailand. It is not located centrally in Bangkok like most other large malls, but somewhat outside, northwest of Bangkok in the province of Nonthaburi.
Thanks to good transport links by highway and rapid transit, those interested in shopping can reach the mall easily. Attractiveness is guaranteed by stores such as a huge IKEA and more than 1,000 stores, gastronomy and entertainment offers on more than 550,000 m².
5. Golden Resources Mall: 6,000,010 sq ft (557,419 m²)
The Golden Resources Mall in Beijing, China, with a gross floor area of 680,000 m² and a sales area of around 560,000 m², is also one of the mega-malls, and is named the third largest shopping mall in China.
With over 1000 stores, restaurants and service outlets, it caters to Beijing’s eager shoppers. This was not always the case. Especially in the beginning, the huge shopping center struggled to attract enough customers due to its somewhat remote location. Now, a railroad connects the mall with the city.
4. SM Tianjin: 6,080,000 sq ft (565,000 m²)
SM City Tianjin is part of the Philippine SM Prime Holdings, with more than 100 malls in the Philippines, and 7 in China – including the gigantic SM City Tianjin, which is one of the largest malls on earth. From a bird’s eye view, the building’s architecture is in the shape of a three-petaled flower.
The mall has 560,000 m² of retail space with all the world’s famous brands, restaurants, entertainment and services. Chinese cultural elements serve as designations for individual sections of the mall.
The five buildings in the complex are named after the five Chinese elements. A water, wood and gold ring, also following Chinese tradition, connects the individual sections in the mall, while the parking garage is located in the earth ring.
3. SM Mall of Asia: 6,349,530 sq ft (589,891 m²)
The SM Mall of Asia is located at the southern end of the EDSA in Pasay City, situated on a 20-hectare site directly on Manila Bay. It has a usable floor area of 589,891 sqm. In addition to over 500 retail stores, the mall also houses medical offices, branches of all major banks, a large ice rink, an IMAX cinema, and a church and science museum. About 200,000 people visit the Mall of Asia every day, and on weekends there are sometimes between half a million and a million visitors.
Shopping malls are very popular in the Philippines. They are often meeting places or destinations for entire families, not least because of the pleasant air-conditioned coolness in the tropical climate of the Philippines. Since there is no entrance fee, shopping malls such as the Mall of Asia also offer a welcome change for low-income people, even if it is only for window shopping.
2. South China Mall: 7,100,000 sq ft (659,612 m²)
Located near the Chinese megacity of Dongguan, the “New South China Mall” has around 1,500 stores, a roller coaster, an IMAX cinema, overnight accommodations and a sales area of 660,000 square meters. This makes the mall, which is more reminiscent of a theme park, currently the largest in the world.
But the mall has a not insignificant problem: It has far too few visitors and thus great difficulty in recouping the costs of 1.1 billion euros.
In the first years after its completion in 2005, 99% of the stores were empty and the area looked more like a ghost town than a busy shopping center. In the meantime, the vacancy rate is “only” around 37%.
1. Iran Mall: 15,000,000 sq ft (1,450,000 m²)
Iran Mall is centrally located near Tehran, and surrounded by three airports. With a total area of 1,700,000 m2 and a leased area of 350,000 m2, it is one of the superlatives in the world of mega-malls.
It has 700 stores, a hypermarket of more than 20,000 m², an atrium, a fashion street, more than 200 restaurants, a book garden, 12 IMAX cinemas, a theater with 2000 seats, a family entertainment center, a museum and several galleries, three hotels including a 5* luxury hotel, a conference center and two gardens typical for Iran, a glass hall, a mosque, in addition to a sore bazaar, sports facilities such as an ice hockey hall and an indoor tennis court, bowling and fitness center. The Iran Mall impresses with its immense size and enchants with its oriental flair and an excess of luxury that immediately captivates and amazes every visitor.