A Quick Summary of Iskandar Projects – Mostly in Nusajaya

Several companies and organisations were invited to invest and build in Iskandar Malaysia as catalytic developments to attract economic activity. Some of them are:

Companies and businesses
– Pinewood Studios: This UK film studio which housed the production for several James Bond films, among others, is set to employ approximately 8,000 creative workers. Its 30 acre-Phase 1 is due to open by June 2013.

– Southern Industrial & Logistics Clusters (SILC): Businesses operating here include Smiths Detection (UK-originated company developing threat detection equipment, among others), and DB Schenker (the transportation and logistics arm of Germany’s national railway company Deutsche Bahn). Asian companies include Singaporean steel structure fabricator, Yongnam Engineering (read full article), as well as TN Chemie (which blends and distributes industrial chemicals, a subsidiary of Samchem Holdings from Petaling Jaya).

 Bio XCell: Committed investors in this biotech hub include India’s BioCon and Agila Biotech, Glycos Biotechnologies from US, as well as Metabolic Explorer from France.

– Ascendas Tech Park: Located in Gerbang Nusajaya, this tech park is a joint venture between UEM Land and the Singapore government-linked Ascendas Land International Pte Ltd.

– Pengerang oil and gas hub: Due to be fully complete by 2027, this hub will reportedly house facilities for oil and gas processing, refinery and storage, among others. It is also meant to facilitate cargo movement from the west and Middle-East to Eastern countries such as China.

– Asean Trade Centre: This is a future project by UEM Land in Gerbang Nusajaya.

Leisure and Entertainment
– Legoland: The only Legoland in Asia (and one of six in the world), Legoland is owned by Themed Attractions and Resort Sdn Bhd (a Khazanah Nasional unit), Iskandar Investment Bhd and Merlin Entertainments Group. Merlin Entertainments is a UK amusement park operator (the 2nd largest after Disney) which owns and operates all Legolands throughout the world; it owns about 10% of Legoland Malaysia.

Daily entrances into Legoland during the school holidays have reached 6,000 people, according to sources.

Day passes are priced from RM105 per adult and RM82.50 per child (for online advance purchases).

Its next phases are the Legoland Hotel and Water Park, due to be completed by Q4 2013.

 Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park: Comprising Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, The Little Big Club and Lat’s Place attractions, this theme park was opened in October 2012. This Hello Kitty town is the first outside Japan. Entrance to Hello Kitty Town or The Little Big Club costs RM50 for Malaysians and RM65 for other citizens. Entrance to both zones costs RM85 for Malaysians and RM110 for other citizens.

– Traders Hotel: Traders Hotel, which is a brand under Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts, is currently under construction in Puteri Harbour. Initially scheduled to open in late 2013, its now due to be open by April this year, according to a UEM Land spokesperson.

An artist’s impression of the Motorsports City project.

– Motorsports City: Located in Gerbang Nusajaya, Motorsports City will be developed as a joint venture between UEM Land and a company owned by Singapore billionaire Peter Lim. Lim is also a shareholder of UK sports car maker McLaren Automotive.

– Danga Bay:
Located closer to Johor Bharu town and the Johor Sultan’s palace, Danga Bay will be developed into a mixed development incorporating cruise ship terminal, marina, fisherman’s wharf and tower blocks to house commercial offices, hotels, exhibition and convention centres, and residential properties. Already, Tropicana’s Tropez condominiums within Danga Bay has achieved good sales at landmark prices.

Iskandar Waterfront Development with its land bank of 3,028 acres of waterfront land  is 51.2% owned by Iskandar Investment Bhd, 12.3% by Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (an investment arm of the Johor State Government) and 36.5% by Danga Bay Sdn Bhd, a private property development company controlled by Lim Kang Hoo, also MD of Ekovest Bhd.

Johor Premium Outlet is reminiscent of sprawling open-air outlet malls in the US and Europe.

– Johor Premium Outlet: Modelled on US outlet malls, JPO as it’s often fondly abbreviated as, features shops from 80 international and Malaysian brands. Ownership is held by subsidiaries of Genting Plantations Bhd, and Simon Property Group from US

Education at EduCity
– Newcastle University: Recently visited by UK’s Prince William on his 2012 visit to Malaysia, this university’s medicine faculty has already enrolled three intakes, according to a spokesperson of Iskandar Investment Bhd.

– Marlborough College: This posh boarding school which originated in the green countryside of Wiltshire, UK, counts Kate Middleton as one of its alumni. It selected Iskandar Malaysia to be the premises for its first school located outside UK. The school opened last August with 350 pupils.

Marlborough College takes in primary and secondary school children, including boarders. Fees cost from about RM57,000 per year.

According to Marlborough College master Bob Pick, “We were invited to come here in 2007. Khazanah when they came to talk to us saw us as a catalytics project for the region… We found ourselves with a country which was prepared to offer us a landmass that was big enough to create the type of school we needed. The school in England operates on about 120 acres, the school here is 90 acres.” These 90 acres are required for several rugby and cricket fields.

Marlborough’s students represent 30 different nationalities. Most of them are children of expatriates working in Singapore or almost equally, of southern Malaysia residents, besides 20 to 30 children from Kuala Lumpur, adds Pick.

“They are mainly British expats though we also have US expats, Australasians and a healthy contingent from Japan. There’s a little community of Japanese in Johor Baru and for some reason we have attracted them to the school.”

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