Shopping Center  Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University

World's Largest Shopping Centers

A partially completed section of the South China Mall in Dongguan.
[Nelson Ching/New York Times]
Asian Shopping Mall Boom

     The shopping mall construction boom in Asia has attracted a good deal of international media attention during the past few years. Eight of the ten largest malls in the world were in Asia in early 2008 and several more mega-malls in China and the United Arab Emirates are under construction.

     Mall watchers have predicted that within the next few years, seven of the ten largest shopping malls in the world will be in China alone. Typically, Chinese mega-malls are only parts of a much larger residential, office, and entertainment complexes. 
An informative discussion of this phenomenon is an article by David Barboza, "China Builds Malls on Gigantic Scale, " New York Times, May 25, 2005.  This phenomenon is also surveyed in a  short article, with images of the ten largest malls, by Tom Van Riper in "World's Largest Malls,", January 18, 2008.

    Some of the largest international malls listed below may not be fully operational or even open, in part due to the recent world-wide economic recession. 
Table 3
World's Largest Shopping Centers Compared

This table is compiled from data reported by Directory of Major Malls (2008) for US and Canada and by various mall management companies on official web pages and press releases for the rest of the world. Data may not be consistent or entirely reliable. This is especially true of claimed gross leasable area (GLA), the criterion upon which the ranking is based. GLA is the area of interior floor space leased for retail shops, services, restaurants, and entertainment, such as night clubs, video arcades, and cinemas. For further discussion, see The Largest Malls on this site.  Thanks to those who have provided additions and corrections.  This table will not be further updated.

Most of these malls have their own web sites. A larger number of additional sites offer discussions of these malls, photographs, travel and visiting suggestions, and similar information. 

Shopping Mall Year
Square feet
(Square meters)

Total Area Square feet
(Square meters)
Stores Comments
South China Mall Dongguan, China
The world's largest shopping mall in early 2006 arrayed six separate themed areas. Apparently, most of the retail spaces are vacant, but the amusement area attracts visitors.
Jin Yuan
(Golden Resources Shopping Mall)
Beijing, China
1,000+ Also known as the "Great Mall of China," this mega-mall has 6 floors and is located near the Fourth Ring Road, west of Beijing. Recent visitors report that the mall is largely unoccupied.
SM Mall of Asia
Pasay City, Philippines

The largest mall in the Philippines is four buildings connected by walkways. It features several cinemas and movie theaters, an ice skating rink, and Science Discovery Center.
Dubai Mall
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Part of a much larger upscale entertainment and lifestyle center featuring KidZania, a 22-screen Cineplex, 5-star hotel, walk-through aquarium, indoor theme park, ice skating rink, and food court.
West Edmonton Mall
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
1981 3.8-million
800 Largest shopping mall in North America; includes indoor wave pool, amusement areas, hotel, restaurants; 20,000 parking spaces. 
Cevahir Istanbul
Istanbul, Turkey
Apparently the largest shopping mall in Europe; has six floors, cinemas, roller coaster, and theater. 
SM City North Edsa
Quezon City, Philippines

Has five floors, 12 digital movies theaters, and a 200-shop Cyberzone; an IMAX theater planned to open in early 2009.
SM Megamall
Mandaluyong City


Has a bowling center, ice skating rink, 12 movie theaters, and convention halls. One source credits the mall with 200 restaurants.
Berjaya Times Square
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Includes 45 restaurants, a theme park, and 3D Digi IMAX theater. 
Beijing Mall
Beijing, China
600 Has 4 levels of shopping with interior residences; located near Fifth Ring Road, southeast of Beijing.
Zhengjia Plaza
(Grandview Mall)
Guangzhou, China

Enclosed in a complex that includes a 48-story hotel and 30-story office building.  
SM City Cebu
Cebu City, Philippines

Four -level shopping complex near the port area with food court, eight cinemas, and amusement center. Further expansion planned in 2011
Mall of America
Bloomington, Minnesota,
1992 2.8-million

Largest shopping mall in the United States (by total area); includes a theme park, entertainment district on the 4th floor, and aquarium. 
South Coast Plaza
Costa Mesa, California, USA

280 Anchored by Sears, Macy's, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale's department stores.
Millcreek Mall
Erie, Pennsylvania, USA

Anchored by Sears, JC Penny, Macy's and Bon Ton.
Central Commercial Santafe
Bogota, Columbia

Enclosed mall on three floors has six themed plazas; largest in Columbia. 
Central World Plaza
Bangkok, Thailand

21-screen cinemas, bowling lanes, and restaurants; also a convention center (not included in the GLA).
Aricanduva Mall
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Largest mall in Brazil; part of a complex of 3 shopping malls with a total area of 11.8-million sq ft. 
Chia Tai Square
Shanghai, Jiangsu, China

News releases in late 2005 touted it as "Asia's biggest shopping mall," but  several other Asian malls appear to be considerably larger.
Siam Paragon
Bangkok, Thailand

Features the Paragon Department Store, many upscale shops and a gourmet market, as well as a 15-screen cinema, aquariaum, art gallery, concert hall, and bowling alleys.
Del Amo Fashion Center
Los Angeles, California, USA
2.5-million (230,000)

Del Amo straddles several blocks in the city of Torrence, part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. 
*Cited as "gross floor area," which may be somewhat greater than the comparable gross leasable area.  See The Largest Malls for further discussion of the determination of  the size of malls.

Golden Resources Shopping Mall

Beijing, China

   The art-deco Golden Resources Mall, located near the Fourth Ring Road on Beijing's west side, opened to great international fanfare October 24, 2004. At 560,000 square meters (6-million square feet) of total floor space, it was briefly the largest shopping mall in the world. The South China Mall in Dongguan has since eclipsed it in size, but the Dongguan mall is only partially occupied with stores.
   Two other Chinese malls were under construction in 2009, the Triple Five Wenzhou Mall and Mall of China (Qingdao)
, with projected total areas of 930,000 square meters (10-million square feet) each, will be even larger.

Golden Resources Shopping Mall, Beijing, currently the largest mall in the world. It opened in the fall of 2004.   [Xinhuanet]

Aerial view of a portion the West Edmonton Mall, Alberta, Canada, the largest mall in North America.   [West Edmonton Mall photo]
West Edmonton Mall
West Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

     The West Edmonton Mall, completed in 1985 at a cost of $750-million, remains the largest enclosed shopping mall in North America, but several malls open or under construction in China and the United Arab Emirates are larger.
     The mall encompasses 570,000 square meters (5.2-million square feet) of total floor space, 800 stores (including 8 department stores), a 360-room hotel, and 110 restaurants and eating places. Its list of amusement places is also impressively large. There is a full-scale amusement park with 47 different rides, an ocean-wave swimming pool with sand beach, an aquarium, and a miniature golf course.  If all that is too much for you, enjoy some peace and meditation in the chapel--so long as a wedding is not in progress. 

West Edmonton Mall Page

The Mall of America
Bloomington, Minnesota, USA

    The Mall of America, with its 390,000 square meters (4.2-million square feet) of floor space, is the largest shopping mall in the United States. It was completed in 1992 at a cost of $635-million. 
     The mall contains about 520 stores on three main levels and has 2.3 miles of primary corridors. The fourth floor is an entertainment district, with restaurants, movie theaters, and night clubs. Occupying the center court is Nickelodian Universe, a full-scale amusement park with a roller coaster and 20 other rides. The mall attracts more than 40-million shoppers per year, who spend an estimated $1-billion annually. 

Mall of America Home Page

Mall of America Photographs

Interior view of the Mall of America from the third level. The vaulted roof is reminiscent of European arcades, such as the Galleria in Milan. [ep photo]

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Created January 2000 by Emil Pocock,  Last modified April 5, 2011

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