Workers put finishing touches on a monorail car in the Khan Shatyr in June.
Despite its unconventional outward design, the interior of the Khan Shatyr should be familiar to anyone who's spent time in a U.S. shopping mall, said William Fierman, a professor of central Eurasian studies at Indiana University who recently visited the newly opened center.
"The biggest difference is the amusement rides in the Khan Shatyr," Fierman said.
The Khan Shatyr has a 1.5-million-square-foot (140,000 square meter) foundation, and its multiple levels house cafes, restaurants, shops, movie theaters, spas, rides, and even an indoor "beach"—complete with sand—on the top floor (beach pictures).
(Sample music from Kazakhstan.)