Malls of Mammoth Proportions: Unveiling the Top 10 Biggest Malls in the World

In the realm of retail therapy, size matters. For shopaholics and architectural enthusiasts alike, stepping into a behemoth of a mall is an experience in itself. These colossal shopping havens transcend the mundane aisles of your local strip mall, transforming into sprawling cities of commerce, entertainment, and leisure. Today, we embark on a globetrotting journey to unveil the **top 10 biggest malls in the world**, marvelling at their scale, diversity, and the unique experiences they offer.

1. New South China Mall, China (7.1 million sq ft)

  • Owner : Founder Group
  • Location : Dongguan, China
  • Opening date : 2005
  • Total retail floor area : 659,611 m2 (7.1 million sq ft)

Claiming the crown for the largest mall by gross leasable area is the aptly named New South China Mall in Dongguan. This retail leviathan boasts a staggering 6.46 million square feet of floor space, enough to house an entire Disneyland park with room to spare. However, the mall’s vastness has also been its Achilles’ heel. With only a fraction of its shops occupied, it’s become a surreal ghost town, serving as an eerie reminder of the challenges of unchecked retail ambitions.

2. Iran Mall, Iran (21 million sq ft)

News18 Hindi
  • Owner : Ayandeh Bank
  • Location : Chitgar Lake, Tehran, Iran
  • Opening date : 2018
  • Total retail floor area : 1,950,000 square metres (21,000,000 sq ft)

While the New South China Mall reigns supreme in terms of leasable area, the title for the mall with the largest total floor space belongs to the Iran Mall in Tehran. This monumental structure clocks in at a mind-boggling 21 million square feet, encompassing not just shops but also hotels, art galleries, museums, and even a replica of Venice’s Grand Canal! With its ambitious blend of retail and cultural pursuits, the Iran Mall aspires to be a city within a city, a testament to the country’s grand architectural vision.

3. SM Megamall, Philippines (5.1 million sq ft)

  • Location : Wack-Wack Greenhills, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines
  • Opening date : June 28, 1991; 32 years ago
  • Management : SM Prime Holdings
  • Total retail floor area : 474,000 m2 (5,100,000 sq ft) (2015)[1]

The Philippines lays claim to the 3rd and 5th spots on our list with the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong and the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay, respectively. SM Megamall, with its 5.1 million square feet, is a shopper’s paradise, housing over 800 stores, an ice skating rink, bowling alleys, and even a movie theater complex. The mall’s success speaks volumes about the booming retail scene in Southeast Asia, where malls are not just shopping destinations but community hubs and entertainment centers.

4. SM Mall of Asia, Philippines (4.66 million sq ft)
  • Location : Bay City, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines
  • Opening date : May 21, 2006; 17 years ago
  • Management : SM Prime Holdings
  • Total retail floor area : 589,891 m2 (6,349,530 sq ft)

Located on the Manila Bay waterfront, the SM Mall of Asia is a sight to behold. Its sprawling complex features an iconic globe-shaped structure, an IMAX theater, an aquarium, and even a concert venue. With breathtaking views of the bay and a vibrant mix of local and international brands, the SM Mall of Asia is a must-visit for anyone exploring Manila.

5. CentralWorld, Thailand (4.62 million sq ft)

  • Owner : Crown Property Bureau TBF4
  • Location : Pathum Wan, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Management : Patcharin Apirukworawut[1]
  • Total retail floor area : 187,046 square metres (2,013,346.39 sq ft)[2]

Bangkok’s CentralWorld is a shopper’s paradise, offering a dizzying array of over 1,000 stores across seven floors. The mall also boasts an ice rink, a bowling alley, and a cinema complex, ensuring there’s something for everyone. But what truly sets CentralWorld apart is its stunning architecture, which blends traditional Thai elements with modern design sensibilities.

6. Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates (4.3 million sq ft)

Best Places
  • Owner : Gaith bin Ahmad Al muhairbi
  • Location : Downtown Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Opening date : 4 November 2008; 15 years ago
  • Total retail floor area : 502,000 square metres (5,400,000 sq ft)

No list of the world’s biggest malls would be complete without a mention of the opulent Dubai Mall. This luxurious shopping haven is home to the world’s largest candy store, an underwater zoo, and an Olympic-sized ice rink. And if that wasn’t enough, the Dubai Mall also boasts a direct connection to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, making it a must-visit for any luxury shopper or architecture enthusiast.

7. West Edmonton Mall, Canada (3.77 million sq ft)

Road Trip Alberta
  • Owner : Triple Five Group
  • Location : Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Opening date : September 15, 1981; 42 years ago
  • Total retail floor area : 490,000 m2 (5,300,000 sq ft)(total)[3]

The West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, is more than just a mall; it’s a theme park and entertainment complex rolled into one. With over 800 stores, 100 restaurants, a water park, an amusement park, and even an indoor beach, the West Edmonton Mall is a world unto itself. It’s the perfect place to spend a rainy day or escape the harsh Canadian winter, and its sheer variety guarantees something for everyone in the family.

8. Istanbul Cevahir, Turkey (3.5 million sq ft)

  • Owner : St Martins Property Group Nurettin Kurt
  • Location : Istanbul, Turkey
  • Opening date : 15 October 2005; 18 years ago
  • Total retail floor area : 420,000 m2 (4,521,000 sq ft)

Nestled in the heart of Istanbul, the Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Center, commonly known as Cevahir Mall, is a true Ottoman spectacle. This behemoth boasts a staggering 3.5 million square feet of floor space, making it the largest mall in Europe and the 8th largest in the world. With over 350 stores, 14 movie theaters, a bowling alley, and an ice rink, Cevahir offers an unparalleled shopping and entertainment experience. But what truly sets Cevahir apart is its architectural grandeur. The mall’s soaring ceilings, intricate tilework, and cascading fountains evoke the opulence of the Ottoman Empire, creating a shopping experience that is as visually stunning as it is diverse.

9. Ala Moana Center, USA (2.8 million sq ft)

  • Owner : Brookfield Properties
  • Location : Ala Moana, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Opening date : August 13, 1959; 64 years ago
  • Total retail floor area : 2,400,000 square feet (220,000 m2)

Situated in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Ala Moana Center is not just a mall; it’s a cultural landmark. This open-air complex boasts over 300 stores, many of which cater to the islands’ unique style and flair. From high-end fashion boutiques to local souvenir shops, Ala Moana offers something for everyone. But the mall’s true charm lies in its embrace of the Hawaiian spirit. Lush gardens, cascading waterfalls, and even live music performances create a tropical oasis in the heart of Honolulu. Whether you’re looking for a souvenir to remember your island vacation or simply seeking a dose of Hawaiian sunshine, Ala Moana Center is the perfect place to visit.

10. Grand Canal Shoppes, USA (2.4 million sq ft)
  • Owner : Brookfield Properties
  • Location : Paradise, Nevada, United States
  • Opening date : June 16, 1999; 24 years ago
  • Total retail floor area : 736,228 sq ft (68,397.8 m2)

The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas is a shopper’s paradise with a Venetian twist. This luxurious mall recreates the canals and gondolas of Venice, offering a truly unique shopping experience. As you glide down the gondolas, you’ll be serenaded by gondoliers and surrounded by luxury boutiques and high-end restaurants. But beyond the Venetian facade, the Grand Canal Shoppes also offers a diverse selection of stores, from designer fashion to souvenir shops. Whether you’re looking for a romantic gondola ride or simply seeking a luxurious shopping experience, the Grand Canal Shoppes is sure to impress

Also read : Take-off for Giants: Unveiling the 10 Biggest Airports in the World

From the sprawling urban landscapes of China and Iran to the tropical paradise of Hawaii and the Venetian charm of Las Vegas Biggest Malls, these 10 mega-malls offer a glimpse into the future of retail. They are not just places to shop; they are destinations in themselves, providing entertainment, leisure, and even cultural experiences. So, the next time you’re planning a trip, consider adding one of these retail giants to your itinerary. You might just be surprised at what you find.

Bonus Tip:

For an even more immersive experience, be sure to check out the official websites or social media pages of these malls before your visit. Many of them offer virtual tours, event calendars, and even special promotions for online shoppers. With a little planning, you can make your mall visit a truly unforgettable experience.

I hope you enjoyed this journey through the world’s biggest malls! If you have any questions or requests, please don’t hesitate to ask. 

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Rajat Thakur

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Rajat Thakur

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