Themed Attractions investing RM267m in Desaru Coast

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Business Times. April 13, 2012. (English). Themed Attractions Malaysia, which is part of Kazanah Nasional’s leisure and tourism division, will invest RM267 million to build and operate two theme parks in Desaru, Johor.

The theme parks –Ocean Quest marine park and Ocean Splash water park– are scheduled to open in mid-2014. “Ocean Quest is a brand new product. We are in partnership with Dolphin Quest (from the US) for this particular project,” Themed Attractions & Resorts Sdn Bhd’s (TAR) Chief Operating Officer Steve Peet said.

“It is an interactive marine park. We are working with conservationist groups. It is focused on endangered species and growing the education side of it,” Peet told Business Times in an interview. Ocean Quest, Peet said, would be similar to the Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. “Ocean Splash, will be an international quality water park and very different from any other existing water parks in Malaysia,” he said, adding that the best comparison would be the Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando, Florida, in terms of theme and design.

Both parks will, however, only occupy three quarters of the existing space. “We have space for extension of these two parks or for an additional attraction,” TAR’s chief executive officer Tunku Ahmad Burhanuddin said. Again, should there be an additional attraction, TAR will own and operate it but will engage experts to help.  Originally, there were three attractions planned on the site.

Apart from Ocean Quest, there was a plan for a Water World. The latter had been renamed Ocean Splash. However, plans for a wildlife park had been scrapped.

The RM267 million investment in Ocean Quest and Ocean Splash includes cost of 12.32ha land. The attractions will form part of the larger development at Desaru Coast. Khazanah, in 2010, acquired Desaru Development Corp Sdn Bhd and a 1,618ha piece of land. There are several hotels and two golf courses to be developed by Destination Resorts Sdn Bhd, also a unit under Khazanah Nasional.

Desaru Coast, a 17km beach-front development, will feature the Aman Country Club and Aman Villas, The Datai Desaru Resort, Sheraton Desaru Resort and The Plantation Hotel. The residence component includes Aman Residences and Els Residences. Golf developments include Ernie Els- and Vijay Singh-designed golf courses. Among commercial centres being planned are a convention centre and riverwalk dining, as well as a retail village.

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