Iskandar Development Region – A Boost For Johor Tourism

Iskandar Development Region, previously known as South Johor Development Region, is a shared effort by the Johor State of Malaysia and the Federal Government of Johor to improve the Johor State’s overall development. The Iskandar Development Region upon completion is expected to be on par with Shenzhen or Hong Kong of China.

It covers an area of 221,634 ha that is about 3 times how big Singapore. It offers District of Johor Bahru, Mukim Jeram Batu, Mukim Sungai Karang, Mukim Serkat, Pulau Kukup and Mukim Ayer Masin.

It stretches from Johor Bahru to Senai/Kulai at the north, Port of Tanjung Pelepas at the west and Pasir Gudang at the east. It’s split into 5 zones i.e. (i) Johor Bahru city (ii) Nusajaya (iii) Western Development Corridor including Tanjung Pelepas and Gelang Patah (iv) Eastern Development Corridor including Johor Port, Pasir Gudang and Tanjung Langsat and (v) Senai-Kulai.

The Comprehensive Development Plan for Iskandar Development Region was drawn by the Khazanah Nasional Bhd. It aims to transform the southern the main state of Johor including some backwater areas into an international metropolis. This region is set to become a significant industrial, logistical and commercial centre with industrial facilities dealing with electronic, petrochemical, refinery and shipbuilding.

Based on the statistics, in 2005 the Iskandar Development Region includes a population of 1.4 million. It’s projected to truly have a population of 3 million by the Year 2025. Gross Domestic Product for Year 2005 is RM20 billion. This figure will undoubtedly be pushed around RM93.3 billion by Year 2025.

Iskandar Development Region stretches over the Strait of Johor covering coastal land, swamp lands and rivers. Most of these areas may be resulted in tourist spots.

The existing tourist spots in the Iskandar Development Region are historical sites within Johor Bahru city, Danga Bay, Kukup and Kukup Island, Tanjung Piai, ZON Ferry Terminal, Tanjung Langsat etc. Kukup Island is a RAMSAR site and it has the world largest uninhabited mangrove. Various species of flora and fauna flourish on this island. Nature lovers can come to this region and appreciate the uniqueness of this place.

Tanjung Piai is another mangrove near to Kukup and may be the southernmost tip of Asia continent. Long-tailed masque with white eyebrow are available on tree tops here.

Visitors depart and arrive at ZON Ferry Terminal by sea from Batam, Bintan and Tanjung Belungkor, Johor. The ZON Ferry Terminal has been assimilated into other components to produce it a one stop tourist centre detailed with a resort, a shopping centre, an enormous karaoke centre etc. It is a duty free zone where goods bought listed below are exempt from taxes.

Danga Bay is being manufactured by Ecovest Bhd. It’s a mixed development comprising of shops, condominiums, theme parks, marina etc. It includes a female market which follows the idea of female market in Hong Kong.

There’s an international airport, Senai International Airport at Senai. Senai is an industrial area with various factories put up by international investors. Senai will undoubtedly be resulted in an international cargo hub under the Iskandar Development Region. The Senai International Airport besides serving the cargo, it will serve because the entry point for visitors from all around the world.

With the influx of investment from all around the world into Iskandar Development Region, tourism industry won’t be forgotten by the Johor State government. Currently, you can find middle-east investors proposing to develop theme parks at Nusajaya. A company under Berjaya Group, Central Malaysian Properties Sdn Bhd has acquired the Waterfront Floatiing City and has changed its name to Lido Boulevard. It is a mixed residential and commercial development. The special feature of this development is that the majority of the structures will undoubtedly be constructed above the sea and supported by piles. This developemnt has stirred controversy one of the locals since it occupies the seafront, in ways blocking and spoiling the sea view whereas there are lots of inner lands that can be utilized for development.

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