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The 12 Biggest Shopping Centers in the World

Ever wondered which are the biggest shopping centers in the world? Without a doubt, time has brought about a drastic change in the way that we shop. In the last 50 years we’ve gone from the little neighborhood stores around the block, to massive shopping centers, and now on to online shopping from the comfort of our own homes. Originally, shopping malls were intended to concentrate different shops in a single establishment, so as to make the shopping experience easier for the buyer, who could roam around the building and visit the different stores, as well as give each of the stores plenty of foot traffic they may not be able to lure on their own.

However, shopping centers are no longer only a convenient way of purchasing, they have inexplicably turned into their own form of entertainment. Starting with food courts and cinema complexes, you can find anything from bowling alleys to entire amusement parks inside a modern shopping arcade. If you are an avid shopper and you like the whole experience of going to these venues and exploring prices, opportunities and novelties, you should also check out our list on The Biggest Outlet Malls in the World.

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Maen Zayyad /

Coming back to the present countdown, in compiling this list we chose to consider the gross leasable area (GLA) to rank the largest shopping centers in the world. The gross leasable area of a property is the amount of floor space available for rent or tenant occupancy. In other words, the GLA takes into account only the area of the venue that generates income for the property owners. Naturally, this is not the only means of ranking a shopping center’s size. Other ways of measuring a mall’s size are by its total surface area or by the number of shops it has. For the first criterion, the largest shopping center in the world is The Dubai Mall with 502,000 m2; nevertheless, this mall doesn’t even make it to our list by GLA.

Speaking about Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, they are planning to build an even bigger shopping center, as if the Dubai Mall with its aquarium and ice rink weren’t big or over-the-top enough. The Mall of the World was announced in July of this year and the project includes a theme park, a wellness zone, hotels, air-conditioned walkways, shopping malls and a shopping precinct.

The shopping malls in our countdown are meant for much more than simply shopping. With restaurants, supermarkets, hotels, amusement parks, cinemas, car dealerships, enormous food courts and every other ridiculous addition you can possibly imagine, the biggest shopping centers in the world also have a large range of activities to offer.

So are you curious about the biggest shopping centers in the world, and if any of these wonders of commerce are located near you? Let’s take a look at the countdown and see where shopping paradise awaits!

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