If we Americans think we’re the top consumers on the planet, a project just announced in Dubai should make us reassess our ranking in the shop-till-you-drop department.
A mega shopping center dubbed the Mall of the World and touted as the world’s largest, is planned for the outskirts of downtown in this United Arab Emirates shopping mecca. The complex is projected to attract 80 million visitors annually, reports the International Business Times. It’s part of a larger development named Mohamed Bin Rashid City, in honor of Dubai’s ruler.
The development reportedly will include more than 100 hotels, a family-oriented entertainment center created in partnership with Universal Studios, and an outdoor park 30% bigger than London’s Hyde Park.
News accounts don’t mention the exact size of the structure, but suffice it to say, the Mall of the World could make the Mall of America look like a neighborhood strip mall in comparison.
In fact, U.S. malls don’t even break into the top 20 of the world’s largest shopping complexes, despite our ingrained consumer culture. The largest in the USA is King of Prussia Mall at almost 2.8 million square feet and more than 400 stores, according to theInternational Council of Shopping Centers. (Mall of America ranks second in size.)
The current world-record holder, the New South China Mall in Dongguan, could accommodate more than two Malls of America in its 7-million-square-foot expanse. And there’s plenty of unoccupied space to do just that. Most of its 2,350 retail spots have been vacant since its 2005 opening, despite such gimmicky attractions as an indoor-outdoor roller coaster and a replica of Venice’s St. Mark’s Square bell tower. It’s been called the Not So Great Mall of China.
China also boasts the world’s second largest shopping emporium, the Golden Resources Mall in Beijing. Interestingly, most of the world’s biggest malls are in Asia.
Since it’s the season when, like it or not, many of us will wind up at the mall, tell us the kind of venues in which you prefer to do your holiday shopping. The bigger the better? Or less is more?