10. The Dubai Mall
If you're looking for an extreme shopping trip that involves a lot of overseas travel and large malls filled to the brim with shops, movie theaters, and more, you should probably take a trip to some of the largest shopping malls the world has to offer!
In this gallery, we'll take a look at the 10 biggest malls according to their gross leasable area. In other words, by the amount of actual retail space they have available.
Coming in at #10 is the Dubai Mall in the United Arab Emirates, which opened in November 2008. This massive complex offers 3.77 million sq. ft. of leasable space and has over 1,200 stores available for your enjoyment. It's actually the largest mall in the world according to total area, coming in at a whopping 12.1 million sq. ft.!
9. SM Mall of Asia
Offering 4.2 million sq. ft. of leasable retail space and over 1,080 stores, SM Mall of Asia was the largest shopping mall in the Philippines until it was taken over by SM City North EDSA in 2008.
A major attraction of this mall is its multiple cinemas, which include the first ever IMAX theater in the Philippines (San Miguel-Coca-Cola-IMAX), as well as a Director's Club theater that has La-Z-Boys for seating, a Premiere Cinema, and the CenterStage theater, which can be used as a concert venue.
8. Sunway Pyramid
Sunway Pyramid in Malaysia opened in 1997 and has 4.27 million sq. ft. of leasable space. With an extravagant Egyptian-inspired design that includes a pyramid, a lion, and two domed atriums, this shopping center is quite a sight to behold!
The mall contains over 800 stores, including such favorites as:
- Toys 'R' Us
- Cold Storage
- Ace Hardware
7. Isfahan City Center
Located in Isfahan, Iran, the Isfahan City Center has 4.5 million sq. ft. of leasable space and opened inNovember 2012. The mall has space for over 750 stores and includes a five star hotel, cinema, international financial center, and world trade center.
With 4.6 million sq. ft. of leasable space, CentralWorld in Bangkok, Thailand is the sixth largest mall in the world. The mall opened in 1990 and has gone through a few name changes throughout the years. It was originally called the World Trade Center, which was changed in 2002 to Central World Plaza, and then it became CentralWorld in 2005.
Out of a total 600 stores, the mall includes many shops and restaurants that are also popular in the United States, including:
- Build-A-Bear Workshop
- Forever 21
- Pizza Hut
5. Persian Gulf Complex
The Persian Gulf Complex in Shiraz, Iran, which is also known as the Fars Shopping Complex, has space for more stores than every other mall in the world: 2,500. It opened in 2011, but so far the only store in the mall is Carrefour. The rest is completely vacant.
Though it has room for more stores than any other large mall, the Persian Gulf Complex comes in at #5 in area, with 4.8 million sq. ft. of leasable space.
4. 1 Utama
The fourth largest shopping mall according to leasable space is 1 Utama located in Malaysia. With 5 million sq. ft. of leasable space and over 700 stores, 1 Utama first opened in 1995. The six floor mall complex is made up of two phases, the Old Wing and the New Wing, which houses the following major stores:
Old Wing (Phase 1):
- Popular Bookstore
- TGV Cinemas
New Wing (Phase 2):
- Cold Storage
- MPH Bookstore
- Golden Screen Cinemas
3. SM City North EDSA
Located in Quezon City in the Philippines, SM City North EDSA has over 1,100 stores on 5.2 million sq ft of leasable space. It opened in 1985 and is now the largest shopping mall in Southeast Asia, comprised of:
- City Center
- Interior Zone
- The Annex
- The Block
- The Sky Garden
- The North Link
- The Grass Residences
- The Former Warehouse Club
2. Golden Resources Mall
The Golden Resources Mall, located in Beijing, China, has 6 million sq. ft. of leasable space and houses over 1,000 stores. The six floor mall that features a skating rink opened in 2004 and has earned the English nickname of "The Great Mall of China."
Surprised that the Mall of America hasn't appeared on the list? Let's put it in perspective: The Golden Resources Mall is 1.5 times larger than the Mall of America.
Finally, the most massive shopping mall in the world is...
1. New South China Mall
The largest mall in the entire world is the New South China Mall, located in Dongguan. Though the mall definitely has the largest area of leasable space (7.1 million sq. ft.) and has the potential room for 2,350 stores, it has remained largely empty since it opened in 2005. Only 47 stores have opened in the mall, leaving 99% of the structure vacant. Reasons for this include:
- Located in the suburbs, only accessible by bus or car
- No nearby airports or highways
Had the mall been more successful, it could have become quite an attraction! Its design features seven zones, which are all modeled on international locations, such as Paris, California, Egypt, Amsterdam, Rome, and the Caribbean. Notably, a zone built to resemble Venice, Italy contains a 1.3 mile long canal complete with gondolas!