MELAKA, April 28 (Bernama) --
Arab City Melaka, the integrated commercial project in the state, will cost over RM1 billion, with construction expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year, its developer announced today.Hesham Fathi Mohamed, Managing Director of Golden Corporate Heritage Sdn Bhd (GCH), the developer, said the project covering 46.9 acres (18.76ha), is located in three areas -- Pulau Melaka, Klebang and Kampung Jawa.
He was speaking to reporters after the ground-breaking of Arab City Melaka, a joint-venture between the Melaka state government and GCH, at Pulau Melaka here.
Also present were Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and GCH chairman Sheikh Saleh Mansor.Hesham said the whole Arab City project was initially estimated to cost RM400 million.He said phase one of the project, costing RM250 million, will be developed into an integrated and comprehensive development, which included shopping bazaars, Arabic-themed restaurants, cafes and Arabic health and beauty spas.At the ceremony, both the state government, represented by Ali signed an agreement with GCH to develop phase two of the project in Klebang, which is tipped to be a new landmark for tourism in Melaka.
Today marks the beginning of piling work for the first phase of the Arab City in Pulau Melaka, which, according to Hesham, is due for completion within five weeks.Hesham said the project was scheduled for completion by year-end, with the Arab City project, sited on a 4.2 acre (1.68 ha) site, in Pulau Melaka expected to open for business by 2010.
He said Klebang, the second phase of the Arab City project, will be a mixed development, comprising a five-star hotel, an aquarium, health resort and water sports club."We will provide the development plan within three months from now to the state government, with investments expected to cost more than RM1 billion," he said.
Both the state government and GCH today signed an agreement to develop the Arab City project in Klebang sited on a 36.2 acre (14.48 ha) area.At the press conference, Hesham said he had received numerous enquiries from foreign companies intending to rent or sell the facilities provided at the city.However, the company, which mooted the Arab City concept, would retain the Arab concept, with only Arab brands under its roof, with no opening for fast- food giants such as McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), he said.
The third phase of the Arab City will comprise an Arab Village on a 6.5 acre site (2.6ha) in Kampung Jawa, he added.On its proposed Arab City project in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, he said the company had to look for other alternative sites, with negotiations being held with another party to develop the city in Jalan Semarak.GCH's Shaikh Saleh, at the press conference, said Malaysia offered a conducive climate for foreign investments, especially from Gulf nations, citing the Arab City project in Melaka, as an example.
In his speech, Mohd Ali described the Arab City project as a significant and important investment, especially during the current economic slowdown.
He is confident the project would succeed and generate the expected returns and revenue, which would in turn benefit the investors, the state, tourists and the Melaka people.-- BERNAMA