Malaysian development Danga Bay set to attract global firms

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi being shown a diorama of the Iskandar development region in 2007

The Danga Bay waterfront will face Singapore and developers hope to encourage large multinationals to relocate there, along with home-buyers and visitors. The whole development was given a value of RM80 billion (£17 billion) as part of the Iskandar Malaysia project.
It will involve reclaiming land and building on swamps along a 25km stretch of coastline. While the ambitious project was announced five years ago nothing has happened due to uncoordinated efforts from the various land owners, which included several state and government-run firms.
But Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has kick-started the scheme with an official launch and by offering £42 million of government funds for the infrastructure. A holding company has also been set up to represent the numerous landowners.
The Malaysian government hopes the Danga Bay waterfront will pay for itself through tourism and tax revenues from global companies looking for cheaper headquarters, particularly those relocating from Singapore.
Along with impressive skyscrapers, hotels and parks the stretch of land will feature residential blocks, entertainment, international schooling and amenities to attract expats and Singaporeans to the region.

The first building to be constructed is expected to be a luxury waterside condominium called Tropez. British expat James Wong said: “Singapore is getting very expensive to live in so I’m always looking at alternatives in the region. The problem is Malaysian projects like this have a habit of never being finished on time, while some never get finished.”
The Danga Bay project is one of five districts within the Iskandar Malaysia region, which is being developed to attract world-class firms, visitors, students and residents. Other zones include its flagship Nusajaya zone which will feature Pinewood Studios, Legoland and the first Asian outlet of the prestigious Marlborough College, whose alumni include Kate Middleton.
About £15.5 billion has been committed to the Iskandar Malaysia project so far, of which £6 billion is foreign investment. No just foreign investors are being encouraged but expat families and students too. As well as Marlborough College, Raffles American School, Newcastle University and the University of Southampton will all open campuses on the site.
It is expected that when Iskandar Malaysia reaches maturity in 2025, the region will employ 1.4 million people. This will involve the creation of 800,000 new jobs.