Even though many of us think that shopping malls have come into existence in the last century, the idea of shopping malls has been in existence since ancient times. The oldest continuing shopping mall was built in the 13th century and it basically consists of walkaways lined with shops. From then on, various shopping malls came into existence, and now malls are huge buildings that have retail spaces for all kinds of goods.
The trend to increase the area that a shopping mall occupies picked up in the late twentieth century, and so did the idea of including cinemas, parks, theatres, amusement parks, and whatnot.
Now, there are a huge number of shopping malls around the world with hundreds of shops, food court, theaters, and parks within. We made this list of the biggest shopping malls in the world. This list is based on the total area of shopping malls.
Biggest Malls In The World
Here is the list of the ten biggest malls in the world, according to their gross leasable area, or GLA, which is basically a measure of the area that is devoted to retail spaces. All of these malls are any shopper’s heaven, and another interesting thing is that they’re all Asian.
10. SM Seaside, Cebu City, Philippines
More commonly known as ‘Seaside’, this mall on the Philippine coast is the tenth biggest mall in the world, with an area of 5.064 million square feet. Opened in 2015, it is also the largest shopping mall in the Philippines outside Metro Manila, and the third-largest in the Philippines. Seaside has 700+ shops spread over five floors and has a parking space for 4,336 vehicles. It houses the SM store, SM supermarket, a Center stage theatre, a Large Screen Format Cinema, four other regular cinemas, along with an 18-lane bowling alley, an Amusement center, and an ice skating rink.
9. SM Megamall, Mandaluyong, Philippines
Opened in 1991, this Megamall has a gross leasable area of 5.1 million square feet, which makes it the ninth biggest mall in the world. It has over a thousand shops, and the daily traffic of 800,000 people, which means 292,000,000 people visit it every year. Not only this, it has a maximum capacity of containing 4 million people, all at once! It also has, amazingly, most Cinema screens (14) in the Philippines.
8. SM City North EDSA, Quezon City, Philippines
The largest mall in the Philippines, and the eighth biggest in the world, it was opened in 1985. It has a gross leasable area of 5.36 million square feet, and houses over a thousand outlets and stores. When it was opened, it wasn’t the size it is today. A lot of renovations and constructions of spaces were added to the mall in phases, which is why its retail space occupies an area of 498,000 square meters. It attracts 950,000 people every day, which means an amazing 350,000,00 people come to the mall annually.
7. 1 Utama, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
The seventh-largest mall in the world and the largest in Malaysia was opened in two phases, the first one in 1995, and the second one in 2004. With a gross leasable area of 5.592 million square feet, it has over 713 shops, spread over six floors. It also consists of an indoor rainforest, two film houses, a 36-lane bowling alley, a karaoke center, a spaceship themed kids play area and six recreational sports centers. It has almost 60,000 to 90,000 people visiting on weekdays, which becomes a week over a hundred thousand on weekends.
6. ICONSIAM, Bangkok, Thailand
Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, the ICONSIAM mall is a part of a bigger mixed-use development, which includes hotels as well as residences. It stands at sixth place on the list of biggest malls in the world, with a gross leasable area of 5.65 million square feet. With over a thousand shops and parking for 5,000 vehicles, ICONSIAM is also the home to the first official Apple store in Thailand. The mall alone is spread over 10 floors, including the underground level, and was opened in November 2018.
5. CentralPlaza WestGate, Nonthaburi, Thailand
Also called CentralPlaza Bangyai, the world’s fifth-biggest mall is located in Nonthaburi, a suburb of Bangkok. Opened in August 2015, it is the largest mall in Thailand with a leasable area of 5.992 million square feet. It has over a thousand shops and parking space for about seven thousand cars and is spread over six floors. It houses a Department Store, a Good Supermarket, a Westgate complex of 12 cinemas, a 50,000 sq. ft. IKEA store along various others.
4. Golden Resources Mall, Beijing, China
Opened in 2004, the Golden Resources Mall is the fourth biggest mall in the world with a gross leasable area of 6,000,010 million sq. ft. It is a little far from the Being City, and also in not so well-off locality, which is why very few people visited it when it was opened. The extension of a Subway line to the locality around the mall is the reason it’s now frequented by a lot of people. It also has been nicknamed ‘Great Mall of China’.
3. SM Tianjin, Tianjin, China
Opened on 17th December 2016, the SM has a GLA (gross leasable area) of 6.08 million square feet, which makes it the third biggest mall in the world. With over 2,500 shops, it is owned and operated by SM Prime Holdings, a company based in the Philippines. SM Prime Holdings have over 70 malls in the Philippines and 7 in China and is still expanding. The SM Tianjin is the second largest mall in China, after the South China Mall.
2. South China Mall, Dongguan, China
Opened in 2005, it was the biggest mall at the time of its opening and now is the second biggest. The mall has a gross leasable area of 7.1 million square feet, but it’s size failed to attract visitors as well as retailers. Until 2014, most of the space was empty, with the retail spaces having an occupancy rate of only 10%. Extensive renovations were done to attract retailers, and as of 2018, most spaces of the mall have been filled, and the mall also houses an IMAX-style theatre and a theme park.
1. Iran Mall, Tehran, Iran
Located near Chitgar Lake in Northwest Tehran, the Iran Mall is the largest mall in the world with a gross leasable area of 15.6 million square feet, with another part of the mall yet under construction. It has over 2,500 shops, a 20,000 square meters hypermarket, a fashion avenue, a 3,300 square meter book garden with 67,000 volumes and several book shops, 12 IMAX cinemas, three hotels, a car showroom, and a roof with various sports courts and ice-skating rinks.
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Shopping Malls are no longer shopping spaces but have now become centers for relaxation, fun, and enjoyment, with amusement parks, massage centers and so much more. And this is why you can plan to visit the ten biggest malls, not to shop, but to have the most relaxing time of your lives!