Feb 25, 2013

Malaysia - Medini wellness projects expected to boost Malaysia's medical tourism sector

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JOHOR BAHRU: Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak unveiled two projects at Medini Iskandar Malaysia on Tuesday.

The gross development value of the projects are estimated to be about RM3 billion ringgit.

The Afiniti Medini urban wellness project has a total gross floor area of some 700,000 square feet and it will be completed in 2015.

It is developed by Pulau Indah Ventures - a 50:50 joint venture project between Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings.

Among the key offerings are wellness, hospitality, retail and corporate training facilities.

For example, CIMB will base its Leadership Academy, while Parkway Pantai is building a health and wellness centre.

Meanwhile, CapitaLand's Ascott will be managing a 310-unit serviced residence property.

Ascott, representing CapitaLand as project manager for Afiniti, said the development will have 147 units with sizes ranging between 500 and 1,100 square feet.

Mr Tan Boon Khai, regional general manager of Singapore & Malaysia, Ascott, said: "We are currently monitoring the market trends, based on the surrounding launches. Currently the going rate at least for those on sale now, it ranges between 700 to 800 ringgit psf. Our development when we launched, certainly the price is going to be very competitive."

Ascott added that it expects to hire Malaysians as they have the local knowledge.

Mr Tan said Ascott is likely to hire over 100 local staff to run its serviced apartments operations.

Meanwhile, the second resort wellness project Avira, jointly developed by PIV and Eastern & Oriental, is expected to be ready in 2018.

About 458 terrace houses will be launched for sale in the middle of this year.

The developers said the size of each unit is about 2,200 square feet at a price tag of 420 ringgit per square foot.

The wellness component of the two projects is expected to boost Malaysia's medical tourism sector.

Mr Syed Anwar Jamalullail, Chairman of Pulau Indah Ventures, said: "Definitely it will boost medical tourism. We are hoping to get it from ASEAN region. Parkway Pantai is part of IHH, which is the second largest operator of hospitals in the world in terms of beds. So we do expect a lot of inflows from IHH, referrals."

The two wellness projects will target corporate professionals and families looking for a break from their busy lifestyle.

Including the two projects unveiled on Tuesday, Medini Iskandar Malaysia has attracted a total investment of over RM412 million ringgit.

Iskandar Investment Berhad expects those investments to generate a total gross development value of nearly 11 billion ringgit.

- CNA/de/al

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