Australia is home to many internationally renowned landmarks; our shopping centres are not among them.

The Shopping Council of Australia’s 2014 Competition Policy Review revealed that there are more than 1,350 shopping centres in Australia.

However shopping centres account for only 38% of all retail space and only hold 35% of all retail stores in Australia. Melbourne’s GPO is recognised by Forbes as the most notable mall in the country, simply due to the history of the building as a post office.

The country can be seen as under-developed in the retail industry, falling behind in a rapidly growing sector that is taking over the world.

According to CNN, shopping is an experience, in which the centres and their surrounding provide for either a positive or negative experience regarding value, variety or overall experience.

Here is a look at six of the most unique shopping malls that the world has to offer, perhaps giving the Australian retail industry some inspiration.

West Edmonton Mall

Located in Alberta, the West Edmonton Mall is unparalleled for having, well, everything. Holding the largest indoor waterpark (above), the mall is accredited with the world’s largest wave pool.

If you are not in the swimming mood, you can laze around an indoor lake that is home to many sea lions.

If you are in the mood for having fun, you can head to the Galaxyland theme park, or stop by the petting zoo to visit a range of animals.

If you are looking for an adrenalin pumping activity, the indoor shooting range is just for you.

If you are only in town for a short period, why not stay at the hotel on site?

While on your stay you can catch a movie at the cinema of go to dinner theatre right outside your hotel room.

Did I also forget to mention that the mall also has four radio stations?

The Edmonton Mall is like a whole vacation rolled into one, which makes it one of the most unique malls in the world.

The Dubai Mall

Customers flock to the world’s largest mall, Dubai Mall, for two main reasons.

One of these is the one of a kind experience they receive when visiting the mall, with separate sections of the site set up to a ‘mall within a mall’ concept.

Each section of the mall is designed to fit a different theme to suit a range of shopping areas such as Fashion Island and Gold Souq.

The second reason is located smack bang in the middle of the mall; a huge walk through aquarium that holds a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest aquarium window panel.

The Dubai Mall’s official website details the aquarium’s features, including a description of the 33,000 animals that reside within the mall.

Mall of America

Located in Bloomington, Minnesota, what makes this mall unique is the fact that approximately 5 000 couples have gotten married within its walls!

The mall holds a very popular wedding chapel that brings love to the air of the mall, however that’s not all.

According to Business Insider, the Mall of America is the most visited mall in the world with at least 40 million customers shopping at site every year.

So what brings everyone to the Mall of America (Besides the Chapel of course)? The mall holds a Nickelodeon theme park, cinema, aquarium and comedy house just to name a few.

Mall of Emirates

Dubai currently is home to several incredible malls equipped with amazing entertainment; however the Mall of emirates is simply the original.

It was the first mall in the Middle East to encompass an indoor ski slope, and is still regarded as one of the largest in the world.

According to The Herald Sun, the ski slope and accompanying 5star ski hotel makes the Mall of Emirates one of the six best destinations in Dubai, a city that is focused on the mega-mall industry.

Villagio Mall

Located in Doha, the Villagio Mall’s distinctiveness is attributed to its architectural features.

Designed to impersonate an Italian village, the ceilings of the mall are painted to envision the sky, in which you are taken to an outside mall while remaining safely inside.

With a canal running through the mall, the experience of taking a gondola ride down stream and hopping off at your favourite store is unique to the Villagio Mall.

In addition to the scenic tour and building design, the mall also includes an ice rink and cinema that assists customers escaping the heat outside the mall.

According to the Gulf Times, the Villagio Mall dominates the organised retail market in Doha.

Wafi City Mall

When observing or entering the Wafi Mall, one is transported from Dubai to Egypt, with the entire mall being designed and built to suit an Ancient Egyptian theme.

Since opening in 2001, the mall is recognised for its Egyptian pyramid shape and its luxurious decor.

The mall is architecturally influenced by Egyptian and Turkish building styles and boasts an opulent modern interpretation of the Pharaohs.

According to Forbes, the Wafi City Mall along with the Villagio Mall mentioned above, are considered among the best shopping malls in the world due to their luxury and experience.

Within the mall there are Egyptian style restaurants, a spa retreat and an underground Arabian souq.

source- urban developer