Property sector seen to benefit from LEGOLAND Malaysia’s success
By Khalil Adis
There is now more things to do across the causeway with the opening of what is billed as “the largest LEGOLAND Water Park in the world and the first in Asia” in Nusajaya, Johor.
Located just next to LEGOLAND Malaysia, the Water Park opened today and will feature more than 20 slides well as over 70 LEGO models.
Siegfried Boerst, general manager of LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort said that the addition will mean families will want to make more visits and stay longer.
“The Water Park will add a whole new dimension to the LEGOLAND Malaysia experience. In total, LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort will have more than 70 rides, slides, shows and attractions. This is a unique holiday destination for the entire family to enjoy. It will offer adventure, education and fun for action-packed day trips or longer breaks,” Boerst said in a statement.
Families will get to enjoy the Water Park’s signature rides such as the Build-A-Raft River and Joaker Soaker.
The former allows children to customise their own raft with soft LEGO bricks before floating down a lazy river.
Meanwhile the latter is a fun interactive platform in the wade pool where children can play with water cannons as a LEGO jester model ‘tells’ jokes while 350 gallons of water pour down upon them.
The Water Park will be served by a second gate allowing visitors to visit either the Water Park or in combination with LEGOLAND Malaysia.
LEGOLAND Water Park will also feature two restaurants, private cabanas for rent and a retail store on-site.
Tourism sector has met its target
LEGOLAND Water Park’s opening and its objective is in line with what the state of Johor has been trying to achieve since Iskandar Malaysia’s inception in 2006.
Mooted by former Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, Johor has been looking to develop catalytic industries so as to enjoy the economic spillover from Singapore.
Tourism & leisure are one of the key industries identified by Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) to anchor visitors from Singapore to stay one or two days in Johor and create job opportunities for Johoreans.
Seven years later, Iskandar Malaysia appears to have reaped the fruits of its labour with the opening of the Water Park as well as LEGOLAND Hotel next year.
According to IRDA, of the RM118.93 billion committed investments as of June this year, 2.5 per cent comprises investments in the tourism sector.
So far, RM53.73 billion has been realised.
Since its opening in 15 September 2012, LEGOLAND Malaysia has already surpassed its target of one million visitors with 80 per cent of its visitors coming from the domestic market.
In addition, about 80 per cent of LEGOLAND Malaysia’s employees are from Johor.
The theme park boasts one of the best paying jobs in town – starting from RM1,600 while managers and technicians can expect a salary from RM2,200 a month onwards,
Booming property sector around the theme park
LEGOLAND Malaysia’s success has also led to a property boom within its vicinity.
Medini, where LEGOLAND Malaysia is located at, has become a sought after location with a slew of property launches there.
Projects such as Afiniti Medini by Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings were oversubscribed while Meridin by the Mah Sing Group and Paradiso Nuova by Zhouyuan Iskandar are proving to be popular among Singaporeans.
Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB), which has selected plots of land in Iskandar Malaysia, has also sold all the land banks within the Medini area.
According to UOB Kay Hian Research, the second quarter of this year saw transaction volumes and values climbing especially within the Iskandar market.
For instance, transaction volume and values climbed by about 13.2 per cent and 30 per cent for Johor from the first to the second quarter.
This had led to an increase in levy hikes for foreigners from 2014 and a possible increase in Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT), expected to be announced during the 2014 Budget.