The world’s coolest malls are much more than places to go shopping.
You can practically vacation or even live inside these malls. Not only do they boast a variety of shops, but everything from wedding chapels to indoor ski slopes.
Gross Leasable Area: 2.5 million sq ft
Why it's cool: Siam Paragon is the ninth largest mall in Asia, complete with a movie theatre, opera hall, bowling alley, karaoke, 5-star hotel, art gallery, and Siam Ocean World Aquarium.
Opened in 2005, it includes a variety of specialty stores and restaurants as well as a gourmet grocery store. The Gourmet Market is a unique 8,000 square meter internationally oriented grocery store on the ground level of the shopping centre. It carries a vast selection of top imported competing brands and foodstuff items from various nations in Europe, Japan, Korea, and Malaysia, as well as quality exotic brands such as those from Sri Lanka.
Location: Bloomington, Minn.
Gross Leasable Area: 2.77 million sq ft
Why it's cool: This massive mall has a theme park and a wedding chapel, where more than 5,000 couples have been married since its opening.
Mall of America opened in 1992 and is the third largest mall in North America. The mall has a gross area of 4,200,000 sq ft available as retail space. That's enough to fit seven Yankee stadiums inside of it!
Mall of America is the most visited shopping mall in the world with more than 40 million visitors annually (or roughly eight times the population of the state of Minnesota). Spending 10 minutes in every store would take a shopper more than 86 hours to complete their visit to Mall of America. The mall includes a cinema, Nickelodeon Universe theme park, aquarium, adventure golf, flight simulators, and a comedy house.
Gross Leasable Area: 2.4 million sq ft
Why it's cool: Although it features the usual amenities for a mall (a fourteen-screen movie theatre, a gaming arena, the typical variety of stores, and a drama theatre), its biggest claim to fame is the Middle East's first indoor ski slope, Ski Dubai.
With the ski area, one of the largest in the world, the Mall of the Emirates sets itself apart from the dozen or so other newly completed malls in Dubai and the surrounding emirates.
The mall also has a theme park called Magic Planet. Magic Planet is the largest indoor family entertainment centre in Dubai, featuring the first 4D theatre in the UAE. You can also ride the state-of-the-art RoboCoaster, a 2-person thrilling ride that is unique to the Middle East.
Gross Leasable Area: 861,000 sq ft
Why its cool: The ornate architecture outside and the interior's semi-circular glass roof.
Main Department Store or GUM is a modern name for the main department store in many cities of the former Soviet Union, known as State Department Store in the Soviet times. Similar-named stores were in the some Soviet republics and post-Soviet states. The most famous GUM is a large store in Kitai-gorod of Moscow, facing Red Square. Today, it is actually a shopping mall.
It is a popular tourist destination for those visiting Moscow. Many of the stores feature high-fashion brand names familiar in the West. Locals refer to these as the 'exhibitions of prices', the joke being that no one could afford to actually buy any of the items on display. As of 2005, there were approximately 200 stores.
Gross Leasable Space: 200 million sq ft
Why it's cool: The Ala Moana centre is the the largest open-air shopping mall in the world and also boasts one of the largest food courts in the world.
The Ala Moana centre is the the fifteenth largest in the United States. Built in 1959, the centre targets its marketing on tourism. They even provide brochures in Japanese, one of its major clientele. There are more than 290 shops and restaurants, including boutique stores of leading fashion designers. In a June 26, 2009 report from US News and World Report, Ala Moana was ranked as the second most profitable mall in America based on sales per square footage, and also had one of the highest occupancy rates.
Gross Leasable Area: 1.4 million sq ft
Why it's cool: Indoor ceilings and lighting make you feel like you are shopping under the sky. When you are tired from shopping, take a gondola ride on the canal that runs through the centre of the mall.
The Villagio has diifferent areas that represent different times of the day, so you can see sunset, night with street lamps and day. The 220-store mall also includes a 13 screen IMAX 3D cinema, an ice-skating rink and there are also plans to add a roller coaster in the future.
Gross Leasable Area: 786,000 sq ft
Why it's cool: This classy haute-couture mall is right in the heart of a high-end mixed development area of Tokyo covering 6.1 million sq ft.
The $3 billion mixed-development project includes office, residential, commercial, hotel, and leisure space, as well as the tallest building in Tokyo and the new quarters of the Suntory Museum of Art. The 5-floor retail Galleria, with 786,000 square feet of stores, restaurants and shops includes the first Terence Conran restaurants in Japan, a wine bar (Coppola's Vinoteca) showcasing the wines of Francis Ford Coppola, and an outlet of high-end American food retailer Dean & DeLuca.
Gross Leasable Area: 861,000 sq ft
Why it's cool: The whole thing is themed after ancient Egypt, includng pyramid-shaped restaurants and a theme park. And yet it has a reputation for being one of Dubai's classy malls.
Located within the Egyptian-themed Wafi City complex, Wafi City Mall opened in 2001 and contains 1,000 covered parking spaces and over 350 stores across 5 levels. Its shops include boutiques (Marks & Spencer, Topshop, La Senza), dining complex (the Pyramids), entertainment theme park area (Encounter Zone), underground Arabian souq (Khan Murjan), and a spa (Cleopatra's Spa).
Gross Leasable Area: NA
Why it's cool: An old post office, GPO is now one of the most notable architectural buildings in Australia.
'GPO' stands for General Post Office, which is exactly what this mall used to be from 1907-1993. In 2004, it was converted into a shopping centre. There are 50 stores across three levels. Road distances from Melbourne are measured in kilometers from Melbourne's historic GPO.
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Gross Leasable Area: 3.77 million sq ft
Why it's cool: The 5th largest mall in the world and the largest in North America features the largest indoor water park, which has the biggest wave pool in the world.
Built in 1981, the mall has over 800 stores and services and parking for more than 20,000 vehicles. The mall also includes theme areas including: Bourbon Street (New Orleans-styled clubs and restaurants), Europa Boulevard, and Chinatown. The mall has a theme park called Galaxyland which a number of attractions including a roller coaster. In addition, the mall has an indoor lake, which is home to four sea lions and a replica of the Santa Maria. The mall also has a hotel, indoor shooting range, petting zoo, dinner theatre, cinemas, four radio stations and an inter-dominational chapel.
Gross Leasable Area: 3.77 million sq ft
Why it's cool: The Dubai Mall is the world's largest mall in terms of total area (12.1 million sq ft).
Opening in 2008, the mall has 1,200 shops and houses an aquarium, which earned the Guinness World Record for the world's 'Largest Acrylic Panel'. The mall also is home to an ice rink, 250-room luxury hotel, 22 cinema screens plus 120 restaurants and cafes. It also features the unique 'malls-within-a-mall' concept with themed shopping areas like Gold Souk, Fashion Island, and The Grove, an indoor-outdoor streetscape with a fully retractable roof.
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