Legoland Theme Park coming to Iskandar Malaysia
October 9, 2009
JOHOR BAHRU: Work on the first Legoland theme park in Asia is expected to start here next year.
Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) will sign a deal tomorrow with the Lego Group, the Danish manufacturer of interlocking plastic bricks, to develop the theme park in Nusajaya.
The theme park, an integral component of Iskandar Malaysia, will be Lego Group’s fifth after Billund in Denmark, Windsor in the United Kingdom, Carlsbad, California, in the United States and Günzburg in Germany.
The skyline of Iskandar is set to change once the 200ha project, with an initial investment of RM800 million, is completed.
Legoland will be one of the three theme parks to be built in Nusajaya.
Sources said IIB was negotiating with other global theme park players to set up operations in this economic region in southern Johor.
They are Universal Studios and Disneyland.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will witness the signing of the deal between Lego and IIB.
Legoland theme parks are built from Lego’s interlocking plastic bricks of different colours to create mini structures such as buildings and vehicles, among others.
The name Lego is an abbreviation of the two Danish words – leg godt, meaning “play well”.
It was founded by Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1932. The Denmark-based company has passed from father to son and is now owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandson of the founder.
Lego is a global enterprise and the world’s sixth largest manufacturer of toys.
IIB, the investment arm of Iskandar, will be the local partner in the project.
At the Cityscape property exhibition in Dubai in October, IIB managing director Arlida Ariff had been reported as saying that three theme parks were being considered in Iskandar.
“We have learnt from the Disneyland Hong Kong’s experience, which is operating with insufficient visitors and revenue. It is better and more appealing to operate a cluster of theme parks.”
“If Iskandar has only one theme park, visitors from Singapore may return to the republic the same day.”
“We want them to stay at least one or two nights so that there would be multiplier effects on the economy.” The plan at Nusajaya is to have a core theme park and a few smaller theme parks. About 1,200ha have been set aside for theme parks, including supporting commercial developments.
Other supporting sports and recreation to be built are golf courses and eco-tourism facilities.
Source: NST (12/12/2008)