Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding to help develop an international cruise terminal as part of Malaysia’s RM40 billion Melaka Gateway project.
Managed by KAJ Development, the Melaka Gateway project will involve the development of one natural and two man-made islands off the coast of Bandar Hilir. Scheduled for completion in 2025, Melaka Gateway will feature an international cruise terminal with a proposed 900m berth, which will accommodate up to three ships and will be connected to the rest of the complex and mainland Malacca via monorail. The development will also have a 290m ferry berth, which will operate daily services to Bengkalis, Dumai and Pekanbaru in Sumatra, Indonesia.
Set to be one of south-east Asia’s largest cluster of islands, the complex will also feature an 80-storey, seven-star hotel; a shopping mall with 450 outlet stores; a UNESCO Heritage promenade; a 24-hectare theme park; and the Malaysia Eye, a 100m-high ferris wheel offering views of the Melaka Straits. Other projects earmarked on the master plan include a Gateway Floating Stadium, a beach, a park and a self-sustainable eco-resort to be powered by renewable energy.
“International tourists have long highlighted that they wished to disembark at our port cities,” said Malaysia’s prime minister Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak. “We are confident that the success of the Melaka International Cruise Jetty will not only bring in high-income international cruise visitors, but will also lead to the opening up of other potential cruise port sites in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and also Sabah and Sarawak.”
Melaka Gateway is expected to create around 15,000 jobs for local citizens and attract an additional 2.5 million tourists to the state. It will also help the government to achieve its aim of welcoming 36 million tourists and generating RM168 billion in tourism revenue by 2020.
Razak said: “We hope that Melaka Gateway will progressively transform Melaka into an even more vibrant tourist destination – a must-visit destination in Asia – and help spur the tourism sector in Malaysia.”
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