Asia is where you will find many of the world´s biggest and most interesting shopping malls.
In fact, from the largely deserted New South China Mall to thriving centers such as the Dubai Mall and the Persian Gulf complex, virtually all of the world´s top 20 biggest malls are in Asia.
Many of these existing malls are relatively new, although traditional covered shopping areas have a long history in parts of Asia. The presence of so many giant shopping centers in the continent hasn´t stopped developers from planning more malls across Asia. In the next couple of years a number of exciting new malls will be springing up in countries such as China, India, Qatar, and South Korea.
While the construction of new malls has slowed in some parts of the world in recent years, in Asia the trend for more and bigger shopping centers continues. Many of the latest projects also involve huge residential areas, enhanced transports links and extensive entertainment options.
With tourism growing in many Asian countries and the middle class expanding in others, it is easy to see why so many new malls are being planned to cater for emerging groups of customers looking for retail options and top class leisure facilities in one place.
SM Mall of Asia, Philippines
The SM Mall of Asia in Pasay, on Manila Bay, in the Philippines is one of the biggest shopping malls on the planet. Opened in 2006, this center currently has a gross floor area of 406, 962 square meters and has daily foot traffic of around 200,000 visitors. In terms of gross leasable area it is the 3rd biggest mall in the country and the 10th biggest in the world. It is owned by SM Prime Holdings and they have announced a 2 level expansion on top of the main mall. The work is expected to be completed by 2017 and will include the addition of new shops and restaurants as well as a rooftop soccer pitch on the 4th level. The work will ensure that this mall recovers its position as the biggest in the Philippines, a claim to fame that it held until a few years ago.
Waterway Point, Singapore
This interesting new shopping development in the center of Punggol New Town in Singapore is reported to be the country´s first suburban waterfront mall. It is also claimed to be the first to be fully integrated with all of the main transport options here. This is part of the $1.6 billion luxury waterfront development called Watertown. This development will feature condominium apartments, sky patios and many entertainment options. As far as the anchor tenant goes, the mall has a couple of 24 hours anchor tenants in the shape of the NTUC FairPrice Finest supermarket and Shaw Theatres. The developers are Frasers Centerpoint Limited jointly with the Far East Organization and Sekisui House.
The construction work is expected to be completed later on in 2015 and the mall will feature 4 levels including a visitor´s center and a basement cinema with around 1,000 seats.
Neo Mall, India
The city of Bangalore is the home of the Neo Mall development, being built by the Patel Realty Group with the help of Chapman Taylor Architects. It is part of the overall Neo Town project being built here over 18 acres. It is described as being India´s largest integrated lifestyle center and the second biggest mall in the country. The overall gross leasable area is calculated as 1.3 million square feet (120,700 square meters). Located close to the new Elevated Expressway, the new mall will offer a cinema, ice skating, rollercoaster and go karts for its leisure options. A Spar hypermarket and a 1200 food court are among the main attractions while brands such as Zara, Vero Moda, and Jack & Jones have already been confirmed. Over 1900 parking spaces are planned and a 2015 opening is expected.
AEON MALL, Japan
A spring 2015 opening date is planned for the AEON Mall Okinawa Rycom in Japan. It is currently being constructed on the site formerly occupied by the Awase Golf Course. The total area covered by this new mall is around 175,000 square meters, with 100,000 square meters of floor and parking space. The center isn´t just about shopping, as it will include a number of leisure facilities as well as an ANA resort hotel. 219 tenants are expected, with the biggest name brands including American Eagle, Old Navy, The Body Shop, GAP, and Kissora.
Hanam Union Square, South Korea
The new shopping center in Hanam City will be the biggest mall in all of South Korea. It is close to the capital city, Seoul and should be open near the end of 2016. The total leasable area runs to approximately 1.7 million square feet and it is set beside a large lake. The location in the Greater Seoul area gives the new mall a potential catchment area of close to 25 million people. Taubman Asia is the biggest investor in this project and the new center will create thousands of new jobs. As well as shopping possibilities we can also expect a hypermarket, a cinema, a spa, and a large food court area.
Parkson Shopping Center, China
The current plans for Parkson Holdings Berhad include the construction of malls in a number of Asian countries, including this one in Qingdao in China. This new shopping center is being called Parkson Shopping Center for the time being and it is due to open its doors to the public in the middle of 2015. The project is expected to cost a total of $294 million. The shopping element of the mall will run to some 111,484 sq m and there will also be a cinema, restaurants, and a number of leisure options on-site.
L&T Seawoods Grand Central, India
2015 is the year in which the latest shopping center in the Indian city of Mumbai will open. L&T Seawoods Grand Central has been designed by Larsen & Toubro and is built around the railway station at Seawood-Darave. The mall will include top class dining options as well as leisure facilities and retail outlets. The project has been on the cards since 2007 and the final proposals include office space as well as impressive transport links in and out.
AEON Mall Wuhan Wedz, China
Another retail center due to open its doors in 2005 is the new AEON mall in the city of Wuhan, in China. It is one of a number of brand new AEON malls being worked on across the country and comes in at a value of $150 million. The development includes retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment facilities. The gross leasable area is 129,900 sq m and there will be parking capacity for 5,000 cars.
CityOn Xi´an, China
Another in the long list of new malls being built in China right now is the CityOn Xi´an, which is expected to open towards the end of 2015. This is another project from Taubman Asia and results from a collaboration with the Wangfujing Department Store CityOn. The new mall will be a multi-level affair which has Wangfujing as the anchor. The rest of the development includes hotels, office space and apartments for residential use. In terms of transport, the mall links straight into the Metro lines 2 and 4 while it also offers easy access to a number of other transport methods. As well as Wangfujing, there will be around 300 other brands represented here.
Mall of Qatar, Qatar
The new Mall of Qatar in Doha should be completed before 2015 is out. The giant complex covers over 4 million sq ft and is located next to one of the 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer stadiums. It will also benefit from a new metro station next to it and parking for 7,000 cars. The mall will be laid out over 3 levels and the total leasable area will amount to 400 stores over 1,750,000 sq ft. It is expected that up to 20 million customers will visit the Mall of Qatar annually.