Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Resort wins spa award

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The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat employees overjoyed at winning the best spa award.

IPOH: THE Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Sunway Group's first luxury natural wellness hot springs destination, recently won the award for Best Spa Resort in The Best of Malaysia Travel Awards 2012. 
Organised for the seventh consecutive year by Expatriate Lifestyle magazine, the annual awards honour top travel and hospitality brands which offer the best experiences.
A record of over 70,000 votes were received by the magazine from more than 12,000 readers.
Resort manager Lybanor P. Godio, who oversees the operations of the retreat, which has 25 villas, was ecstatic.
"Winning the award is an honour for The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat and a coup for the Sunway Group as well as the city of Ipoh.
"We thank the readers who voted in favour of The Banjaran over other well-known established properties nationwide," Godio said.
"We relentlessly invest in our product and people to ensure consistent, superior guest experiences. Hence, the award is an immense accomplishment for us.
"It makes us the benchmark in spa and wellness, enhanced by a level of luxury and refinement."
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, which opened for operations in 2010, is a self-contained sanctuary nestled in a 6.7ha valley surrounded by lush tropical jungle, natural caves and geothermal hot springs as well as a cluster of magnificent limestone hills. It is 15 minutes from the city and two hours' drive from Kuala Lumpur.
-nst online.

www.thebanjaran.com

Najib Launches Langkawi's New Brand

LANGKAWI, Oct 31: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak unveiled Langkawi's new branding, "Naturally Langkawi", at the LADA complex here today.

The branding gives the Langkawi archipelago a new positioning that emphasises it as a natural haven and natural choice for tourists.

     

"Naturally Langkawi" branding marks Langkawi's new initiative to make Langkawi a top 10 island destination in the world by 2015, in line with the Langkawi Tourism Blueprint 2011-2015.

"Naturally Langkawi" was chosen because of the flora and fauna found in Langkawi besides 550 million year old rock fomations, 99 islands forming the region's first Geopark, its natural complement of rainforests, beaches, waterfalls, mangroves, unique wildlife and insects such as 500 species and sub-species of butterflies and more than 226 species of birds.  

  
On top of that, the genuinely friendly people of Langkawi is the strength and the pulse of "Naturally Langkawi".    
Currently ranked the fourth best island in Asia by a poll done by Conde NastTraveller, Langkawi also aims to be one of the top 10 eco-destinations in the world by 2015. 
-Bernama.

Themed Nite Dinner Buffet @ Seri Pacific Kuala Lumpur


-www.seripacifichotel.com

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town @ Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park

Welcome to Sanrio Hello Kitty Town

The first Sanrio Hello Kitty theme park outside of Japan, consists of various walk-through attractions, interactive activities and rides which follow the Hello Kitty theme. Key features include, Black Wonder, a hi-tech interactive themed experience and Kitty House, an iconic Hello Kitty house complete with living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Visitors can also look forward to the "Purrfect" stage which will house Hello Kitty and her friends where they will showcase a live performance.

Say 'Hello' to an unforgettable experience

At the Wishful Studio, visitors can enjoy jewelry making, costume dress up at the photo studio as well as visit the nail salon where they can decorate their nails with Sanrio characters nail art. In addition, vistors can make Hello Kitty shaped cookies at the cookie studio and make their own Hello Kitty doll at the doll factory at the Wishful Studio.

Visitors can experience Friendship Land with its playground, enjoy tea cup rides and have photo opportunities with Hello Kitty and friends, while children can also have an unforgettable birthday celebration with Hello Kitty at Apple and Strawberry Party Rooms.
Location
Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park is a 4-level building, located strategically in Nusajaya Johor (Malaysia), 20 minutes drive from the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link, 25 minutes away from the Senai International Airport or 10 minutes away from LEGOLAND® Malaysia.

We are located at N 1.366982 E 103.707504
Open: Daily 10.00 am ~ 6.00 pm

-Theme Attractions Malaysia.

Corporate Travel Bazaar 3 & Cuti-cuti 1Malaysia 'Night Tourism Fair'


-Tourism Malaysia.

Kenyir Cup 2012 International Fishing Competition


Date : 4 - 8 November 2012


Venue : Lake Kenyir, Terengganu

The Event: International angling competition in the serene waters of Lake Kenyir. Its a 'catch & release' angling challenging the patience and skills of catching freshwater fishes found abundance in Lake Kenyir

Further details at www.fishtalesmalaysia.com
-Tourism Terengganu.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Malaysia Airlines to join oneworld on 1 February 2013

29 October 2012 : Malaysia Airlines will become a full member of oneworld® with effect from Friday 1 February 2013, adding one of commercial aviation’s most frequent award winners to the world’s leading quality airline alliance.

The national airline of Malaysia received clearance to board oneworld after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness conducted by Qantas, which is sponsoring its entry into the alliance, with the oneworld central team.
While its alliance implementation programme is on track for completion in the coming weeks, its addition to oneworld is being held until the beginning of 2013 to avoid the end-of-year holiday season and for other administrative reasons.
Malaysia Airlines will start offering oneworld’s full range of services and benefits from 1 February 2013 – becoming the alliance’s second airline operating the Airbus A380, after its oneworld sponsor Qantas.
From then, the 2 million members of Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich loyalty programme will, in effect, have their frequent flyer privileges extended to whenever they fly with any oneworld member airline – airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and some 25 affiliated airlines.  This includes earning and redeeming mileage awards and earning tier status points when flying with all these airlines.
Enrich Platinum cardholders will have Emerald status in the oneworld programme.  Enrich Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and Enrich Silver will be oneworld Ruby.
From 1 February, Enrich Platinum and Gold members will be able to use any of the 550 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines whenever they fly with any of the alliance’s carriers.  Malaysia Airlines’ First and Business Class passengers will also be able to use oneworld partner airline lounges.
Also from 1 February, the 125 million members of the established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits on Malaysia Airlines.
Malaysia Airlines is already participating in Global Explorer, the round-the-world fare offered by all oneworld members and various airlines that are not part of the alliance.  From 1 February, Malaysia Airlines’ network – serving more than 60 destinations in nearly 30 countries – will be covered by oneworld’s full and extensive range of alliance fares and sales products.
Malaysia Airlines will substantially expand the alliance’s network in South East Asia, where it will add 14 destinations and one country – Brunei – to the oneworld map.  More significantly, it will strengthen the alliance’s connectivity between many key business cities in Asia and other parts of the world.
Its addition will expand oneworld’s global coverage to some 840 destinations in 156 countries, served by some 9,000 departures a day operated by a combined fleet of some 2,500 aircraft, carrying nearly 340 million passengers a year, with annual revenues of US$ 110 billion.  Add oneworld’s other members elect – Qatar Airways and Sri Lankan Airlines – and the alliance network reaches to 856 destinations in 159 countries.
Currently three of oneworld’s active member airlines serve three points in Malaysia, with Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian flying to Kuala Lumpur, Cathay Pacific operating to Penang and its Dragonair regional affiliate to Kota Kinabalu. 
Malaysia Airlines’ oneworld implementation programme has represented one of the most extensive projects in the airline’s history, with working groups covering some 20 streams of activity.  Projects are nearing completion to bring its various internal processes and procedures into line with the alliance’s requirements, and extensive employee training and communications programmes are now underway at Malaysia Airlines and the alliance’s existing members, to ensure they are ready to provide oneworld’s customer services and benefits across the expanded alliance from 1 February.
oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby said: “Malaysia Airlines is an ideal candidate for oneworld, with its world-class reputation for customer service mirroring oneworld’s own focus.  Its Kuala Lumpur home will provide our customers with another of the world’s best airports, geographically well placed between our existing hubs. This will greatly enhance oneworld’s offering throughout one of the world’s fastest growing region for air travel demand.”
Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya added: “oneworld membership represents one of the most significant achievements to date for Malaysia Airlines.  It will strengthen our competitive position considerably, enabling our customers to enjoy a truly global network together with our partners who include some of the best and biggest airlines in the world, while enabling us also to tap into all the financial benefits that come from being part of a global alliance, through additional passenger feed and cost reduction opportunities.  We are very pleased and proud to join what is clearly the world’s top quality airline grouping on 1 February”.

-Malaysia Airlines & oneworld

"1Malaysia. The Futurists" National Art Competition 2012 - Prizes Giving Ceremony

"1Malaysia. The Futurists" National Art Competition 2012 - Lim Zee Chee, 1st Prize Winner.

"1Malaysia. The Futurists" National Art Competition 2012 - Nurhidayat bin Arshad, 2nd Prize Winner.

-http://www.facebook.com/friendofmalaysia

Malaysia – 10th friendliest nation

PETALING JAYA: Forbes Online has rated Malaysia as the 10th friendliest country in the world, based on HSBC's recent Expat Explorer Survey.

“Better quality of life, a satisfying social life, easy local travel and better housing than in their home country helped put Malaysia in fifth place overall though many reported difficulty integrating into the local community (often because of a language barrier),” a recent Forbes Online article stated. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak lauded the article and tweeted yesterday, “We welcome the world”.

Forbes Online listed Cayman Islands, Australia and Britain as the top three friendliest destinations for expatriates. Referring to the survey, the article stated that the three nations were the “easiest to befriend locals, learn the local language, integrate into the community and fit into the new culture”.

It quoted an expatriate living in Cayman Islands who gave the place the thumbs up for not having any income or payroll tax, hardly any crime and for being pollution-free, besides an all-year summer. Canada took fourth place in Forbes Online's World's Friendliest Countries 2012, followed by New Zealand, Spain, United States, Bermuda, South Africa and Malaysia.

The HSBC survey, which is in its fifth year, looked into various aspects of an expatriate's life including economics, namely income, disposable income and a measure of luxury; overall experience; and raising children abroad which took into account childcare, health and well-being and integration of children.

It also noted that expatriates living in Asia such as in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong found it difficult to integrate with the local community compared to many English-speaking countries mainly due to the language barrier.

According to the survey, Malaysia was a top destination for career-driven expatriates and a great quality of life but noted that many looked at it as a temporary base. A total of 5,339 expatriates from 97 countries took part in the online survey which was carried out from May 11 to July 3.
-thestar online.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

AirAsia offers 800,000 free seats

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia is offering 800,000 free seats to selected domestic and international destinations where travellers need only pay the airport tax and fuel surcharge while the seats are at no cost at all.

The free seats will be available for booking on its website www.airasia.com from today until next Sunday and the travel period would be from May 1 to Sept 30 next year. Bookings could also be made via AirAsia's mobile apps.
“Guests only need to pay from as low as RM26 for airport tax and applicable fees to selected destinations such as Penang, Langkawi, Terengganu, Brunei and other destinations in Cambodia, India, Indonesia and Laos. “Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and many more throughout the campaign period and are subject to availability,” AirAsia Bhd said in a statement on Sunday.
The low-cost carrier's Free Seats campaign would see the 800,000 promotional seats being offered from RM0 base fare excluding applicable taxes and fees. Tips and tricks on how to grab the free seats are also available on the airline's Facebook page.
AirAsia X is also offering deals for its long haul destinations with all-in-fares from as low as RM299 one way to Japan (Tokyo, Osaka), RM349 one way to China (Hangzhou, Chengdu, Beijing) and RM399 one way to Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth) as well as Kathmandu in Nepal; Seoul, Korea and Taipei in Taiwan.
Those wanting to travel with extra comfort on long-haul routes, could also opt for the Premium Flatbed seats with all-in-fares from as low as RM799 one way to destinations such as Beijing, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Taipei, Perth, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Sydney, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul and Kathmandu, the statement said.
-thestar online.

1st Malaysia International Healthcare Travel Expo 2012 (MIHTE 2012)

Date: 5 ~ 7 November 2012
Venue: Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, Malaysia

The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) is proud to organise the 1st Malaysia International Healthcare Travel Expo 2012 (MIHTE 2012), to mark the rapidly emerging and highly lucrative global healthcare travel industry.

For the first time ever, the whole spectrum of the healthcare travel value chain will come together to network and establish long-term business relationships.
MIHTE 2012 comprises an Expo and a Conference - proving opportunities to network, meet and learn from the experience of others in the healthcare travel industry, as well as to showcase your products and services to a targeted audience.

The Concept

Malaysia is a well-kept secret and a hidden jewel in global healthcare travel. Thus, the visual identity for MIHTE 2012 emphasises the many jewels in its fold and the value that MHTC sees in each healthcare travel stakeholder.
MHTC sees itself as the 'Clasp' that identifies all the 'Jewels' - meaning all the best, most professional healthcare travel industry stakeholders. MHTC connects them with the strongest links so as to ensure a seamless healthcare travel experience for the client.

The Organiser

Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) was established by the Government of Malaysia as the primary agency to develop and promote the healthcare travel industry and to position Malaysia as the preferred healthcare destination in the region. For more info on MHTC, please check out our interactive web portal www.mhtc.org.my
-MHTC.

KL ranked No. 2 in shopping


Shopping paradise: The index has taken note of the Government’s mammoth investments in developing KLCC and Bukit Bintang as a ‘premier shopping precinct’.
Shopping paradise: The index has taken note of the Government’s mammoth investments in developing KLCC and Bukit Bintang as a ‘premier shopping precinct’.
PETALING JAYA: Kuala Lumpur is the second best shopping city in Asia Pacific, according to the latest Globe Shopper Index, cementing its position as a shopping paradise. Twenty-five cities in the region were assessed under five categories shops; culture and climate; hotels and transport; affordability; and convenience.
Kuala Lumpur achieved the second highest overall score of 65 out of 100. Only Hong Kong scored higher 68.5 edging other cities for its safety, dependable city transport and variety of shops and brands. Shanghai was third with a 63.1 score with Beijing placed fourth at 60.7. Singapore (60.2) and Bangkok (57.1) were ranked fifth and seventh respectively. The other big cities ranked included Sydney (58.4), Tokyo (56.4) and Seoul (54.8).
“Kuala Lumpur's specific strength is its ability to combine low prices with a good range of products in a large number of stores, including three of the world's 10 biggest shopping malls,” the index report stated.
The report predicted that Kuala Lumpur had the potential to perform better in future indexes due to the Government's efforts to promote retail tourism. It also took note of the Government's mammoth investments in developing KLCC and Bukit Bintang as a “premier shopping precinct in Malaysia”.
Bukit Bintang-KLCC Tourism Association chairman Joyce Yap welcomed the report, saying the Government's decision to make shopping a focus in the Economic Transformation Plan was a key factor.
The Globe Shopper Index was created by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which is part of the Economist Group and founded as an in-house research unit for The Economist newspaper and commissioned by Switzerland-based shopping tourism company Global Blue.
-thestar online.

Malaysia to use Bio-Visa

PETALING JAYA: Foreigners who require entry visas will first have to register using the biometric system at the respective Malaysian embassies abroad in a move to deter visa fraud.
Touted to be the first-of-its-kind “Bio-Visa” to be introduced in the world, those who do not comply with the Immigration Department's proposed Biometric-Visa will be slapped with a “Not to Land” (NTL) notice and turned back.
Under the proposal, the fingerprints of the foreigners will be verified at the embassies and again at the entry points in Malaysia. Biometric screening is a fingerprint scanning system with security features to match an individual's identity with the data recorded in the passports.
Immigration director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad said the fingerprint verification system was a key initiative under the second phase of the department's Transformation Plan to be unveiled on Dec 1 in conjunction with Immigration Day. He said the department's proposal was much more comprehensive compared to the UK Border Agency which only conducted biometric screening on suspicious foreign visitors.
“But we will impose biometric checks on every foreign visitor using a visa. A second check will be done at our entry points. “There have been cases of individuals who do not qualify for a visa resorting to identity fraud to enter the country. Surely these cannot be genuine tourists,'' he told mStar Online.
The threat of visitor fraud exists because a total of 22,157 foreign visitors were issued NTL notices last year. From January to September this year, 17,828 NTLs were recorded at the KL International Airport and Low-Cost Carrier Terminal in Sepang.
Alias said 38 countries were placed in Malaysia's visa list which included China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Myanmar.
“Tourists from China and India top the list of those entering Malaysia using a visa,” he said. Last year, 1.25 million visitors from China and 693,056 from India entered Malaysia.
Alias said the Bio-Visa system would be implemented in stages, starting with countries with the highest number of visitors into Malaysia.
-thestar online.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Merang Suria Resort Packages


-www.suriaresorts.com

Tourism Malaysia support tourney for the third time


<B>Off it goes:</B> Jbe Kruger of South Africa takes a shot at the seventh hole during the second round of CIMB Classic yesterday
Off it goes: Jbe Kruger of South Africa takes a shot at the seventh hole during the second round of CIMB Classic yesterday
KUALA LUMPUR: The ongoing CIMB Classic at the Mines Resort and Golf Club marks the third year of the Tourism Malaysia’s support for the tournament, promoting it as a key event in the tourism calendar of the country.
This is in line with the government’s efforts to develop and promote Malaysia as a top destination for international events and golf tourism.
Golf tourism is a lucrative business attracting affluent tourists who generate significantly above average per capita revenues for a destination. It is set to be one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry in Malaysia.
Besides CIMB Classic, Malaysia also plays host to other international golf tournaments annually such as the Maybank Malaysian Open, Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia and Iskandar Johor Open.
Tourism Malaysia has also been organising the World Amateur Inter-Team Golf Championship annually since 1994.
-thestar online.

Tourism booster for Kuantan

KUANTAN: Kuantan, as the gateway to east coast, will have another landmark tourist attraction with the Kuantan Waterfront Resort City in Tanjung Lumpur.
Construction for the RM1.6bil project is expected to kick off next year and is expected to boost not only the tourism sector but provide some 5,000 job opportunities, in addition to economic spill-over activities for locals.
Its developer Newston International Group Sdn Bhd project manager Tan Sri James Foong Cheng Yuen said the project is sited on a reclamed land off Tanjung Lumpur beach will cover a 202ha land area, some 2.5km from the shore. Foong said the resort adopts a waterfront concept comprises hotel, residential, commercial and business, medical and health centres.
“The project will have five phases of construction over a period of between 10 years and 15 years. “Some 25% of the project will have a marina which could attract world class sailors and huge ships to berth.
“Residents including fishermen will benefit from the spill-over of economic activities in the long run,” he said after the signing of an agreement led by its chief executive officer Datuk Zailan Abdul Ghafar and Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, witnessed by Sultan Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah and state sectretary Datuk Seri Muhammad Safian Ismail at Zenith Hotel here.
Foong said among the facilities available include a water theme park, aquaria, shopping outlets, duty free shops, terminal, floating restaurant, convention centre and hotel.
Commenting on the project, Zailan described it as a tourism icon as upon completion, could attract more than 500,000 tourists and boost growth in Kuantan town. “Kuantan will have a new unique city within its township which the locals can be proud of,” he added.
-thestar online.

Friday, October 26, 2012

2NE1 Global Tour 2012 Malaysia - New Evolution


Trail-blazing K-pop girl group 2NE1, made up of 4 distinct individuals - CL, DARA, BOM and MINZY - will be making a stop here for their 2NE1 Global Tour- New Evolution concert on 8 Dec 2012, 8.30pm, at Stadium MalawatiTicket sales start on 27 Octwith more ticketing details available from RITS within the next week. Regular updates will be posted on www.facebook.com/runningintothesun and @RITSmy on Twitter. Strictly a one-night only show with no further addition of tickets, this concert will mark the first time ever that 2NE1 are coming to Malaysia.
Embarking on their first ever World Tour, 2NE1 has achieved the distinction of being the first Korean girl group to hold a world tour. Known for their edgy music and unique fashion style which have distinguished them from other K-pop girl groups, 2NE1 have collaborated with world-renowned names such as The Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am, and fashion designer, Jeremy Scott, and gained recognition for their immense talent and influence by picking up MTV Iggy’s “Best New Band in the World” award in 2011.
2NE1 Global Tour 2012- New Evolution kicked off in Seoul on 28 and 29 July at the Seoul Olympic stadium to an audience of 20,000 fans, and will be brought to 10 cities in 7 countries throughout Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Greatly anticipated by fans here, the concert is sure to be a feast for the senses with high-energy, fistpumping music accentuated by explosive, dynamic dance moves. This tour will feature original designs by one of the most influential fashion designers in the world, Jeremy Scott, and is the first time that a Korean girl group will have specially designed stage costumes by a world-famous fashion designer.
2NE1 Global Tour 2012 in Malaysia - New Evolution is managed by YG Entertainment and organised by Running Into The Sun and will be held 8 December 2012, 8.30pm at Stadium Malawati.
  • Minimum age for admission is 3 years and above.
    For safety reason, minimum age for admission into Rockpit is 13 years and 
    • above
  • Ticket sales begin at the ticket launch event/priority sales on 26 October, Friday, 10.00am to 6.00pm at Stadium Merdeka. From 26 October, 1:00pm onwards, ticket sales for PS 1, PS 2 & PS 3 are available at Ticketpro Outlets and Internet Purchase. Any available VIP and Rockpit tickets will be made 
    • available for online & outlets from 27 October 10.00am onwards.

Travel fair promises hard-to-miss bargains

KUALA LUMPUR: Low prices for travel packages, as well as contests and lucky draws offering flight tickets and holiday packages, are the attractions for the 11th Malaysia International Travel Mart (MITM), which starts today.
This year's travel fair at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre until Sunday is expected to draw at least 70,000 visitors and bring in sales amounting to RM35mil. It will be participated by various travel agencies, national tourism boards and transport operators, including airlines and cruise companies.
Organising chairman Jackson Thian said domestic and regional holiday packages would be the highlight of this year's fair. He said participating airlines such as Firefly and MAS would be offering hard-to-miss promotions priced as low as RM96 for a one-way trip to Kota Baru and RM488 for a return flight to Haadyai.
MAS will also be offering vacation packages in local and South-East Asian destinations, including accommodation and arranged tours for as low as RM225 to Ipoh and RM1,850 to Kathmandu, Nepal.
“MITM is usually held at this time of year so that people can plan their trips for the year-end or for next year,” he said at a press conference to announce the travel mart. He encouraged the public to plan their holidays in advance as it would save them a lot of money and ensure smoother travelling.
-thestar online.

Sandakan Harbour Square marks the revival of Sandakan city


<b>Turning heads:</b> Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan offers a comfortable, relaxed stay for value-oriented business and leisure travellers.Turning heads: Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan offers a comfortable, relaxed stay for value-oriented business and leisure travellers.
With the grand opening of the Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan Hotel (‘FPSS’) and the Harbour Mall Sandakan (‘HMS’), Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman is looking forward to see Sandakan’s revival to its halcyon days as the “Little Hong Kong” of the East.
The hotel and mall form part of Sandakan Harbour Square (‘SHS’), an integrated masterplan development with a GDV worth approximately RM510mil. The urban renewal project which won the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2009 (Commercial Redevelopment category) also consists of a Central Market (market and fish jetty), town square and waterfront esplanade (for community events), Swiss Inn Waterfront Hotel; as well as commercial shop offices.
Sandakan Harbour Square is developed by ICSD Ventures Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of London-listed Aseana Properties Limited) together with joint development partner Sandakan Municipal Council; and managed by Ireka Development Management Sdn Bhd.
The hotel and mall grand opening was symbolised with plaque signing and hand print ceremonies during a gala dinner attended by Musa, Sandakan Municipal Council president Datuk James Wong; ICSD Ventures Sdn Bhd managing director Lai Voon Hon; Ireka Corporation Bhd group managing director Lai Siew Wah; as well as other distinguished guests, business associates, the media and representatives from Sandakan Municipal Council.
“Having witnessed the birth of this project in 2003, I can testify that Sandakan city centre has been transformed from a sleepy backwater to the modern, vibrant Nature’s City it is now.
“The Sandakan Harbour Square scheme is a great example of a private-government joint partnership. This iconic landmark has rejuvenated Sandakan into a thriving commercial hub, complementing this famous eco-tourism destination with international-class accommodation and shopping facilities. We must not also forget the abundant employment and business opportunities Sandakan Harbour Square brings to Sandakan,” said Musa.
Lai added, “From the technically-challenging sea reclamation (which added 25% land area to the CBD of Sandakan in three months) which we completed well ahead of schedule, to today’s grand opening of this final phase (consisting of FPSS and HMS), we are indeed grateful for the strong support we have received from the Sabah State Government, Sandakan Municipal Council and Sabah Tourism Board.
“Undoubtedly, the success of Sandakan Harbour Square is also fuelled by the economic potential of the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC). “ICSD Ventures, Aseana Properties and Ireka are very proud to see our vision coming to fruition — to bring modern lifestyle, social rejuvenation and tourism boost to Sandakan city.”
Standing majestically, fronting the coastal shores of Sandakan Bay, FPSS is the only internationally branded hotel in Sandakan. Each of the hotel’s 300 stylish contemporary guest rooms is filled with thoughtful touches including the signature Four Points by Sheraton Four Comfort Bed.
FPSS is also the only hotel in the city to offer a stylish Presidential Suite — a well-appointed suite featuring a lounge area, dining facilities, separate kitchenette and study. Housing the largest state-of-the-art function space in the city, FPSS is fast gaining popularity as the venue for business meetings, conferences, convention, banquets and wedding receptions.
On the other hand, the Harbour Mall Sandakan is known as the city’s only modern lifestyle mall to offer unparalleled shopping, dining and leisure experiences — all under one roof. The 4.9ha Sandakan Harbour Square was completed well within the targeted 10 years in four phases.
Sandakan is a famous eco-tourism destination in South-East Asia. Unique attractions include the Sandakan Heritage Trail, Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, Turtle Islands Park, Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, Sun Bear Sanctuary, Kinabatangan River, and Gomantong Caves.
-thestar online.