Malaysian Prime Minister recently launched the much-awaited Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) with a promise of up to RM16 billion in development funds to be allocated over a five-year period. Under the SDC blueprint, various property projects in Malaysia will be implemented to turn the state into a regional trading hub with modern infrastructure and world-class facilities. More than a dozen joint-venture agreements have been signed between local and foreign companies in sectors like tourism, agriculture, logistics and manufacturing. Companies from China, Singapore, Japan and the United States were among those who participated.
The government will build or improve roads connecting all major towns in the state and ensure an adequate supply of water and electricity under the programme. Information and communications technology (ICT) developments will be stepped up to narrow the rural-urban digital divide. High-speed internet broadband services will be introduced, with more wi-fi hotspots set up to facilitate easier access to the Internet. As part of the massive project Kota Kinabalu will be developed into an impressive gateway with improved infrastructure and an expanded airport. Top of the list will be the Kota Kinabalu City Harbour Front project stretching from Tanjung Aru to One Borneo.
The project was conceptualised after studying several international waterfront attractions like Darling Harbour (Australia), Cape Town Waterfront (South Africa), Victoria Harbour (Hong Kong), Canary Wharf (England) and Clarke Quay (Singapore).
The Harbour Front is expected to be completed and will feature a 2km boardwalk; one of the longest in Asia. It is set to complement Kota Kinabalu as a modern city with world-class leisure and tourist facilities, in line with the SDC’s objectives. Some key projects along the waterfront include the RM2 billion Jesselton Waterfront and Kinabalu Integrated Convention Centre (KICC), a maritime museum, ferry and cruise terminals, several high-end hotels and a performing arts centre.
When completed, the Kota Kinabalu City Harbour Front project will transform the face of the city, making it a major destination for both leisure and business tourism.
Kota Kinabalu has also been one of the key beneficiaries of the aforementioned Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MMH2H). It has proved particularly popular with buyers from Arab nations after the Malaysian Tourism Ministry opened offices in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The city and its environs have been targeting the high end of the international residential market, and with some considerable success. One development which is proving popular is d’Banyan Residency, five minutes from Kota Kinabalu city centre. Homes at the 5-star resort are built around the fairways of a 27-hole Graham Marsh-designed championship golf course, and are next to the Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf & Country Club. The project comprises 122 luxury homes made up of 14 units of 3-Storey Villa, 48 units of 2 1/2-Storey Semi-Detached Villa and 60 units of 2-Storey Superlink Villa covering an area of 21.5 acres. Plot area range is 3,400 sf to 17,800 and built-up area range is 4,350 sf to 6,700 sq ft. Prices start at RM1.6 million and run up to RM3.9 million.