Everybody knows that girls’ favorite solution to pretty much any problem is – shopping. It is our drug, it keeps us warm when days are grey, it makes us happy when we get disappointed, it relaxes us, it brings us unimaginable joy. And our favorite place in the world is our nearest shopping mall. Of course, the bigger – the better is the obvious rule. Being able to spend the entire day without a care in the world other then what will be our next shop – it is the dream we all wish to accomplish one day.
Well, there are shopping malls out in the world that would probably take you more than just one day to look around through. They may be a bit far away from home, but if you start planning now, you can give yourself a Christmas gift of visiting one of them… and while you are there, why not get gifts for everyone else? It is the perfect solution, isn’t it? The only thing left is to find out which shopping malls are the biggest ones on our planet. So, let’s start…
1. New South China Mall in Dongguan, China
This mall is the biggest one when it comes to gross leasable area, while it comes second after the Dubai Mall when ranked in total area. It has a pretty bad history – up until recently, it was called Ghost Town because it has been vacant for years. It was originally named “South China Mall” when it opened in 2005, and ever since the opening the mall had issues since very few merchants signed up for their open space. There were several attempts of “reliving” it, like 2007 – when it got its “New” name, but all of them eventually failed.
But, the future seems to be smiling upon New South China Mall – it was reported by CNN that recently there were many new shops opened and many visitors came to shop there. There may still be hope. It would be so sad to see all that shopping space go to waste – and my gosh is there space! It takes up 7.1 millions of square feet, which is enough space for 2,350 stores. It is divided into seven zones which are modeled after different cities. They are: Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Venice, Egypt, the Caribbean, and California; they include replicas of famous buildings such as Arc de Triomphe, St. Mark’s bell tower from Venice etc. With the hope that it will live longer this time, we direct you to go visit it. And if it doesn’t – well, at least you saw it…
2. Golden Resources Mall in Beijing, China
Also called Yin Yuan (in Chinese) and Great Mall of China (in English), this mall is the second biggest in the world – and it comes as no surprise that it is located in China. It had a better past than the New South China Mall, that’s for sure. When it was completed in 2004, it was in fact the biggest mall in the world – until the Ghost Town was completed. It was expected to welcome many more guests than it actually did, but it never went “dead”.
It took them 20 months to build it, and no wonder why – it takes up 6 million square feet and has six floors! It has 230 escalators and over a thousand shops and whatever you need – from a toothbrush, through clothes and diapers, to a new car – you can find it there. Get ready and go visit this amazing place, just bring a limited amount of money, or you may find yourself broke at the exit.
3. SM Megamall in Mandaluyong, Philippines
This shopping mall was built in 1989 and started working in 1991. It is a part of a big group of SM Megamalls operated by SM Prime Holdings, a company owned by Henry Sy, Sr. This man is one of the biggest business magnates in the Philippines, as well as one of the biggest philanthropists. There are currently 53 malls in this chain, and while being the third biggest in the world, the one in Mandaluyong is considered the third biggest in the Philippines, after SM City Sta. Mesa and the SM City North EDSA.
The mall is stretched over 5.45 million square feet, divided into two buildings. While Building A holds SM cinemas, Toy Kingdom, Food Court and alike, the Building B is where you should go if you need a department store or a supermarket. They are connected by the Mega Atrium. The second building was expanded in 2014 with the Mega Fashion Hall, which features an underground garage and a 5-level mall. Another addition from 2011 was the Building C with some office spacing and the Department of Foreign Affairs housed inside of it. Yes, it does seem pretty confusing, so be careful not to get lost. And, even if you do, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You could find a new store? Not bad…
4. SM City North EDSA in Quezon City, Philippines
Not too far away, in fourth place we have another mall from the SM Megamalls group, this time in Quezon City. It was opened in 1985 as the first out of SM Megamalls chain, and it was supposed to be a city within a city with its gross floor area of 5.2 million square feet. It is, in fact, the largest shopping mall in Southeastern Asia.
The mall consists of a City Center, Interior Zone including the Car Park Plaza (Annex 1), The Annex (Annex 2), The Block (Annex 3), the North Link (Annex 4), the Sky Garden, the Warehouse and The Grass Residences. There are many buildings to walk around and many things to see. Each building has something special and interesting you must take a look at. For example, the Sky Garden is filled with around 55 species of plants, grass and trees with a special type of soil and drainage system. If you visit the Interior zone, you may find all types of stores featuring furniture, lighting fixtures, houseware and anything you can imagine in a “lifestyle center”… We could reveal more, but we won’t: you should go and see for yourself.
5. 1 Utama in Pataling Jaya, Malaysia
The largest mall in Malaysia and fifth largest in the world, 1 Utama is spread over five million square feet. Their motto is “It’s all in one” and they really mean it. It was, by the way, named the “Shopping Complex of the Year” in 2006/2007 – do you need another reason to visit it and see for yourself?
Well, if you do, we are ready to provide it. 1 Utama has 6 levels, houses around 700 shops and receives somewhere between 60,000 to 90,000 visitors every weekday, while on weekends up to 120,000 people go there. There has to be a reason for that, and there is – and it’s not only one. For starters, they have four department stores and two cinemas. Now, to get around it easily, 1 Utama was divided into eleven zones, and they are: Highstreet, Oval, Rainforest, Secret Garden, Promenade, Promenade Lakeside, Centre Court, The Ledge, Food Street, Sportszone and Entertainment Zone. The Rainforest is, in their own words, a “lush tropical paradise”, while the Secret Garden is located at the rooftop and it is actually the largest one in Malaysia. So, other than shopping, if you visit this mall, you will see some real tourist attractions too. We hope this all is enough reason for you.
6. Persian Gulf Complex in Shiraz, Iran
The biggest mall in Iran could also be called a hotel – a very big and luxurious hotel, to be exact. In the 4.8 million square foot, it holds more than you could ever imagine. Bear with us and find out why you should definitely visit this one even though it is in the lower part of the list.
So, should we start from the pools, tennis courts or amusement parks? Why not all of them – there are both indoor and outdoor swimming pool, two amusement parks – inside the mall and on the outside (this one is called Iran Land), a helipad and a tennis court inside of Persian Gulf Complex. There is also a cinema… oh wait, there are six 240-seat cinemas, a bowling alley, billiard hall and, of course, a hypermarket. This is a great place for you to relax and enjoy yourself with your friends and family – shopping plus movies or shopping plus bowling sounds like a great group activity!
7. Central World in Bangkok, Thailand
As we approach the end of our list, the malls are still not getting less amazing. Central World was opened in 1990 and renovated in 2006. The shopping center, originally called the World Trade Center is today owned by Central Pattana and is since 2006 the biggest one in Thailand.
In the 4.6 million square feet of this mall you can find pretty much every store you would ever wish to visit. Other than that, there is, also, a hotel, two Hindu shrines and an office tower. The downside of this definitely amazing and inspirational mall is that it has been under attack two times so far – the first time it was set on fire in 2010 by some anti-government protestors, but luckily there were no victims, only material damage. Also, just recently, in August this year, there was a bombing attack, where 20 people were killed and 125 were injured. These unlucky events make it a bit less appealing, we agree, but think of all the stores you could visit…
8. Isfahan City Center in Isfahan, Iran
The second largest shopping mall in Iran and well, this one has a museum within it – that’s new. It is the largest one in Iran. Spreading over 4.5 million square foot, you can shop ‘till you drop and then just go to one of their restaurants for a snack before you continue… or check out some of their other facilities…
When it comes to entertaining their visitors, Isfahan City Center is not short in anything. Museum? Check. Hotel? Check – five star hotel, to be exact. Restaurants? Retail shops? Airline offices? Check, check and check. There is really nothing you could possibly need to get done, that you cannot do here. Oh, yes, we forgot to mention their seven (yes, seven) cinemas. There is, of course, a hypermarket included too. Really, this is beyond just going shopping in one of the world’s biggest malls. This is going to a vacation, and you could literally stay there for days. It is a place where dreams come true.
9. Mid Valley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Number nine on our list was opened in 1999 and is located in the capital of Malaysia and it takes up 4.5 million square feet. So, as you can see, even the smallest malls on our list are in fact absolutely enormous. And not only enormous – they are beautiful and amazing in many ways. For example, this one is actually a complex comprising of different parts that may as well be a town for themselves.
On their website, you can see that Mid Valley Megamall is “a shopper’s paradise, fashionista’s haven, kid’s wonderland, gourmet hunter’s sanctuary and a firm family favorite, all under one roof.” There is probably no better description for it than this one, but let’s see what it is exactly that they have. The megamall consists of, obviously, the mall, and other than that – an office tower block, as well as 30 offices and two hotels. There is also a convention center that by itself takes up 48,300 square feet. So, this one is more for business people who need its offices and conference rooms, but the mall itself will provide you with everything from books to clothes and fitness centers. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
10. Istanbul Cevahir Mall in Istanbul, Turkey
Last but… well, it is the least in size but not in what it offers. In Turkish, Şişli Kültür ve Ticaret Merkezi (Şişli Culture and Trade Centre) was the largest one in Europe until 2011, but it still belongs in the top ten world’s biggest – way to go!
In here, you can find everything your heart desires, and more. At 4.5 million square feet it takes up, there are six floors with 343 retail shops, as well as 48 restaurants (34 out of which are fast food restaurants, while the other 14 are more luxurious. But this is pretty much what you can find in any mall. Now check this out: there are 12 cinemas (one is for children), a theater, a bowling hall and, wait for it… a roller coaster! You can also take a look at the big clock on the glass roof – it is the third biggest one in the world. Yep, this is the right place to take your kids… or just your childish-self.
All that is left to say is – what are you still doing at your computer?