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Old May 1st, 2009, 11:52 AM   #1
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JOHOR | Legoland Malaysia Development News

Malaysia first in Asia to host Legoland Park
23/12/08 By Ivy Chang



Aconsortium led by Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) has reached a pact with Merlin Entertainments Group to build Asia's first Legoland Park in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor.

The RM750 million joint venture, Legoland Malaysia, is expected to be operational in 2013.

Merlin will design and operate the park which will be the centrepiece of a 145-acre integrated complex with a gross floor area of 5.5 million square feet that will include a lifestyle retail centre, offices, hotels, serviced apartments and residential units.

The park will be developed in Medini and will be similar to the four other Legoland parks in Billund, Denmark; Windsor, outside of London; Deutschland, Germany; and California, the United States.

These interactive theme parks are dedicated to families with children between the ages of two and 12, and each park will feature more than 50 rides, shows and attractions geared towards family fun.

"IIB selected Legoland as the partner for its first international theme park in Iskandar Malaysia after many months of discussions and engagements with various operators and potential brand partners," said IIB managing director Arlida Ariff.

She said given the significant increase in the number of themed tourism offerings expected in Asia Pacific over the next 20 years, IIB feels the product offerings in Iskandar Malaysia have to be unique and focused.

"Based on this rationale, IIB chose Merlin/Legoland because it provides educational entertainment that will attract families with young children to Iskandar Malaysia as a vacation destination," Arlida added, noting that such families are a fast growing demographic group in Southeast Asia.

Legoland Park managing director John Jakobsen said the Legoland Park in the country will build upon the success of the other Legoland Parks in Europe and North America.

Merlin chief executive Nick Varney said the Malaysian development underlines its confidence in the market despite the current global economic slowdown.

"We believe that while quality branded attractions such as ours are not recession proof, they are recession resilient. Even when times are hard, people will still choose to get away from the gloom and have fun together with family and friends.

"However, they will choose destinations which offer real value for money and which they know will not disappoint. Legoland Parks offer that sort of reassurance and quality," he added.



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Old May 1st, 2009, 11:53 AM   #2
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Malaysia’s first international theme park set to boost tourism sector
Monday December 15, 2008
By NELSON BENJAMIN



‘Play well’: Jakobsen and Lego characters in Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: Some 5,000 jobs are expected to be created with the establishment of the Legoland Theme Park in Iskandar Malaysia.

Iskandar Investment Bhd chairman Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said that job opportunities would be available during various phases of the project in the next five years.

Theme parks have a proven track record of attracting a large volume of visitors.

Legoland would be Malaysia’s first international theme park, he said, adding that tourism was one of nine key economic pillars under Iskandar Malaysia’s comprehensive development plan.

The Lego Group started humbly in the workshop of a Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen. The word, lego, is an acronym of the Danish words ‘leg’ and ‘godt’ meaning “play well”.

Legoland parks are based on the popular Lego toy construction game.

The first Legoland Park was opened in Billund, Denmark, in 1968 with three more parks in London, California and Germany.

Legoland Parks managing director John Jakobsen said Legoland Malaysia Park would be the only one to operate throughout the year, unlike the others which close for winter.

The RM750mil park, on a 930ha site in Medini Iskandar, will have more than 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions when it opens in 2013. Another Legoland is expected to open in Dubai in 2011.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 11:56 AM   #3
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Legoland
Legoland is a chain of Lego themed theme parks:

Legoland Billund (Billund, Denmark) opened in 1968 (9 acres)
Legoland Windsor (Windsor, Berkshire, England) opened in 1996 (150 acres)
Legoland California (Carlsbad, California, USA) opened in 1999 (128 acres)
Legoland Deutschland (Günzburg, Germany) opened in 2002 (43.5 hectares)
Legoland Malaysia (Nusajaya (Iskandar Malaysia), Johor, Malaysia) Coming 2013 (76-acre (31-hectare))

Legoland Billund (Billund, Denmark)
by LostCarPark



Legoland Windsor (Windsor, Berkshire, England)
by cottontimer

image hosted on flickr


Legoland California (Carlsbad, California, USA)
by sumit porwal





Legoland Deutschland


Last edited by nazrey; February 27th, 2011 at 09:42 AM.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 11:58 AM   #4
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Strategy to turn Iskandar into tourism hotspot
By Sharen KaurPublished: 2009/03/10

ISKANDAR Investment Bhd (IIB), which coordinates the development of Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, aims to transform Medini into a world-class integrated tourism destination by setting up more theme parks and hotels for holiday-makers.

Part of the overall tourism strategy for Iskandar Malaysia, in which Medini is located, has been to develop a multi-park destination containing a number of complementary international theme parks.

Managing director Arlida Ariff said the strategy is designed to attract a large number of visitors to Iskandar, increase the visitor length of stay and spend per visitor.

She said IIB and Khazanah Nasional Bhd are committed to the strategy and have been in discussions with a number of theme park operators.

"We continue to maintain dialogues with the operators for potential opportunities to create complementary leisure and tourism destinations in Iskandar," she told Business Times.

The first of three major theme parks planned for Medini is Legoland Malaysia, also Asia's first.

A pact was reached with Merlin Entertainments Group to build the park for RM750 million.

Construction of the park, which Merlin will design and operate, will commence by March 2010.

Legoland Malaysia is the centrepiece of a RM3.5 billion integrated complex earmarked for completion by 2013. The complex will have a lifestyle retail centre, offices, hotels, serviced apartments and homes.

Arlida said apart from theme parks, there will be other attractions relating to arts and culture, adventure-eco tourism and golf-themed holidays, complemented with world-class entertainment, retail and restaurants.

"The idea is not to view tourism products in isolation but to see Iskandar as an integrated tourism site to encourage longer stay and repeat visits," she said.

Medini, which is Malaysia's single largest urban development to date, is expected to bring in a gross development value (GDV) in excess of US$20 billion (RM69.6 billion) over a period of 15 to 20 years.

The development is divided into three distinct clusters with separate themes, namely lifestyle and leisure, culture and heritage, and financial.

Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a public-private sector partnership between IIB and its consortium partners, Global Capital and Development Sdn Bhd and Cultural Cluster Sdn Bhd, is the project development vehicle for the clusters.

Global Capital comprises Mubadala Development Co, Aldar Properties PJSC and Millennium Development International.

Cultural Cluster is majority-owned by Al-Nibras 2 Ltd, a Labuan-based private fund company managed by Kuwait Finance House (Labuan) Bhd.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 11:59 AM   #5
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Using the personal approach to woo investors to Iskandar Malaysia
Published: 2009/04/22

ABU DHABI: Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) is counting on a more personal approach to lure potential investors to Iskandar Malaysia.

"Our approach is much more personalised now. Rather than cast the net wide in the hope of catching a few investors, we now focus on specific individual organisations," said Arlida Ariff, the IIB managing director.

She said in the wake of the global economic and financial crisis, IIB's research was geared to among others, pinpointing those who are still looking for opportunities for cost efficiency.

"These are the kind of people that we'd want to attract and cost efficiency is something Iskandar Malaysia can offer," Arlida said on the sidelines of the Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2009 real estate show at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

She said IIB, the catalytic developer of the special economic corridor in southern Malaysia, would be more Asia-centric in its quest for investors this year.

"We will move more closer to home, targeting mostly Indonesia and Singapore, for first half of this year, and then going further afield to China and India," she added.

Arlida disclosed that IIB would spend the next few days in conversation with several interested parties but declined to name them.

The 2,217 sq km Iskandar Malaysia, a mixed development planned for completion in 2025, has nearly met its US$13 billion (RM47.45 billion) overall foreign direct investment target for the phase ending in 2010.

To date more than US$11 billion (RM40.15 billion), or 92 per cent, had been invested by players in the new growth area, three times the size of Singapore.

On suggestions that Iskandar Malaysia's development was dependent on Middle Eastern money, Arlida said this was never the case.

"For Iskandar Malaysia as such, I would not say that Middle Eastern money is primary. In fact, it has never been our primary focus as such. What we wanted to do was to develop what was previously non-existent and introduce it to the world.

"Also, it was never intended that we only focus on the Middle East for potential investments. It was just one of the markets that needed a comprehensive, holistic introduction to Iskandar Malaysia. I think we've been fairly successful in doing that," said Arlida.

IIB's Middle East partners, Mubadala, Millennium, Kuwait Finance House and Aldar, have invested US$1.2 billion (RM4.38 billion) or more than 10 per cent of the capital raised to date.

Arlida also stated that IIB would focus on the implementation aspect of Iskandar Malaysia this year after previously planning, strategising and signing deals to make the special economic corridor possible.

Meanwhile, IIB's pavilion located in one of ADNEC cavernous halls has been visited by the United Arab Emirates' vice-president, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum as well as the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi General Sheikh Mohammed Zayed Al Nahyan.

Arlida said: "The message that we're bringing to Abu Dhabi is that all the projects committed to earlier are onstream. We've forged ahead with building designs and gone on with infrastructure construction."

She cited that Merlin Entertainment's US$200 million (RM730 million) Legoland Park as one of the newer investments that had come into Iskandar Malaysia despite the current global economic slowdown.

"We signed up last December and are now in earnest designing the masterplan and starting construction by the end of this year. We hope to open by April 2012," she said. - Bernama
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Old May 4th, 2009, 12:34 PM   #6
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UEM Land pushing Iskandar Malaysia again
Written by Financial Daily
Monday, 04 May 2009 11:26

RHB Research believes that UEM Land Holdings Bhd (UEM Land) is well-positioned to benefit if the government decides to rejuvenate the southern Johor property initiative, more commonly known as Iskandar Malaysia.

“As the master developer of Nusajaya with an enormous strategic land bank at Iskandar Malaysia at low carrying costs, UEM Land is expected to benefit from the strong commitment to the project from the new Prime Minister and the inevitable future asset reflation when the economy starts to recover,” stated RHB in a recent note.

However, RHB said that there could be resistance in the revival of the Iskandar Malaysia project and expects development to happen gradually.

“We are fully aware that changes will not happen overnight. Moreover, the global economic downturn will strengthen the view that Iskandar Malaysia will be anything but conceptual,” said RHB.

The research house noted that sceptics would draw comparisons between Iskandar Malaysia and Putrajaya, and draw conclusions that the former would be just a state administrative capital for Johor.

However, RHB said that going forward the presence of foreign investment would help to enhance the marketability of UEM Land’s projects and boost land values over the long term.

“To date, Iskandar Malaysia has received RM43 billion worth of investments. Its original objective was RM47 billion by 2010, around RM110 billion by 2025, but these figures were put together during more bullish times,” said RHB.

The foreign tie-ups that have been announced include the building of Legoland Theme Park and discussions on setting up Dutch Maritime Institute and Newcastle University of Medicine by 2011.

RHB also pointed out that UEM Land’s vast undeveloped lankbank of 5,326 acres (2,130.4 hectares) at low carrying cost provides potential revaluation gains.

The risks and concerns RHB sees for the company going forward include the large inventory levels of unsold property in Johor, concentration risks as the bulk of its landbank is located in Nusajaya, execution risk, and increased competition among others.

The state of the Johor property market is a particular concern for RHB, which said: “Lower density in the state means lesser demand with sizeable landbank and multiple players could further aggravate the current oversupply situation. This would limit the company’s pricing power and take-up rates.”

The research house does not have a recommendation on the stock, but estimates a revised net asset value (RNAV) per share of RM2.11 based on conservative land prices.

“We derive our fail value for UEM Land of RM1.27 per share by attaching a 40% discount to our RNAV estimate to reflect the risks we have outlined. The stock is ultimately a trade on the government’s renewed focus towards government-linked companies and other government-linked assets,” said RHB.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 09:19 AM   #7
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Location

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidestreaker View Post
Medini Central and its surrounding hub. Legoland can been seen here too.

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Old May 8th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #8
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Legoland Theme Park Is Proof Of Confidence In Iskandar Malaysia

JOHOR BAHARU, The RM750 million investment to open the first Legoland theme park in Asia in Iskandar Malaysia is clear proof of the confidence of investors in the corridor launched in 2006.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that although the global economy was uncertain at present, the momentum for the development of Iskandar Malaysia was unaffected.

He said that to date, Iskandar Malaysia had received RM40.25 billion in both local and overseas investments, representing 86 percent of the RM47 billion targeted for the first phase until 2010.

"The RM750 million is a big investment. It is a symbol and proof of the confidence of investors in wanting to continue to invest in Iskandar Malaysia.

"Iskandar Malaysia has displayed convincing progress to enable it to emerge as a high quality and successful development area," he told reporters after witnessing the signing ceremony for the building of the Legoland theme park here today.

The agreement was signed between the managing director of Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) Arlida Ariff and the managing director of Legoland Parks, John Jakobsen.

Apart from Malaysia, similar Legoland theme parks are found in Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States.

Merlin Entertainments will design and operate the theme park with a 20 percent stake in the project, whilst a consortium led by IIB will own the balance.

The Legoland theme ark will be built on a a 145-acre site in Medini Iskandar, known previously as Node 1, and is expected to be opened by the end of 2013.

According to the Prime Minister, the emergence of Asia's first Legoland theme park in Malaysia was good as the country did not have any competitiors in attracting tourists to a similar facility.

"This means if tourists want to visit a Legoland theme park in Asia, they have to come to Johor Baharu and Malaysia.This is very good as we do not have to compete with other Asian countries," he said.

He also said that the authority responsible for developing Iskandar Malaysia would strive to get more companies to open theme parks in the corridor.

On the development of the other corridors in the country, the Prime Minister said that Iskandar Malaysia had achieved more progress as it was launched earlier.

He said that while Iskandar Malaysia was launched two years ago, the other corridors were only launched last year.

"However, I wish to see the other corridors also succeed. Various incentives and government financial resources have been given to the authorities concerned and they need to think of multiple strategies to succeed," he said.

He wanted the authorities responsible for the development to redouble their efforts to promote their corridors to investors, especially those from the Middle East,China, India and also throughout the world.

However, he stated that, development in the corridors was for all investors, both overseas and local.

The Prime Minister, who is also the joint chairman of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) attended its fifth meeting and the third for the Iskandar Advisory Council.

Also present was the Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, the managing director of Khazanah Nasional Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, the managing director of IRDA Datuk Ikmal Hijaz Hashim and the Johor state secretary Datuk Abdul Latif Yusof.

-- BERNAMA
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Old June 11th, 2009, 07:33 PM   #9
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johor bahru will supprise singapore for the tourism if it is safer
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Old June 30th, 2009, 10:46 PM   #10
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Spotlight on IDR draws interest in UEM Land
Saturday June 13, 2009
By TEE LIN SAY



An aerial view of the Johor Administration Centre in Nusajaya.

EARLIER in the week, UEM Group Bhd took the spotlight when news of a lawsuit to the tune of RM840mil by the Qatar government over a dispute regarding a highway project in Qatar came to light.

It appears that UEM Group received a set of legal documents from the state of Qatar on April 27.

The plaintiff, which is Qatar, claimed that the defendants – Parsons International Ltd, UEM Group and Qatar Insurance Co – failed to fulfil contractual obligations in relation to the construction of the Salwa Road in Doha.

They are being sued for 876.32 million riyal (about RM840.98mil).

Sources said Datuk Izzaddin Idris, the newly-appointed managing director and chief executive offcer of UEM Group (effective July 1), was told of the ongoing issue when he was hired, and as such, was “made aware” of the situation.

Izzaddin will be succeeding Datuk Ahmad Pardas Senin, who is retiring, on July 1.

Industry observers believe that Izzaddin has been tasked to troubleshoot certain issues plaguing the group currently.

UEM Land Bhd’s group chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Tajuddin Ali had told reporters after its annual general meeting, that UEM Group would be able to manage the lawsuit.

Afterall, it was merely the contractor for the project, and the second defendant in the lawsuit.

However, as far as UEM Land is concerned, there is no real impact.

Meanwhile, interest in UEM Land has intensified in recent weeks.

Greater bilateral ties with Singapore, and the possibility of a third bridge from Changi to the eastern part of Johor have all but brought the spotlight back to the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) over the last two months.

Naturally, the key beneficiary would be the largest landowner and master developer of Iskandar Malaysia – UEM Land.

It owns 40% or 9,564 acres of the entire land in IDR.

The appeal behind the UEM Land growth story has always been on its appreciating land prices, favourable domestic policies as well as Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s presence to mitigate execution risk.

As it is, land value in Nusajaya have already risen from an average of RM5 to RM8 per square feet (psf) to RM12psf since Iskandar Malaysia was launched in 2006.

Every 10% increase in current land prices raises UEM Land’s revised net asset value by 11%.

There are huge potential revaluation gains for UEM Land from its low land carrying cost of RM4.40psf.

To date, the IDR has attracted RM42bil of development pledges; with actual cumulative investments reaching RM12.9bil.

It has sold approximately 2,476 acres of undeveloped land parcels in Nusajaya to developers, investors and strategic partners.

This is key for initiating a population base for Nusajaya and accelerating the overall pace of its development.

Some of the prominent development projects include Acerinox’s RM5bil steel manufacturing plant, the Johor Administration Centre and the RM650mil Legoland.

“With the Johor Administration Centre launched in April, the development concept of Nusajaya becomes a reality.

We should see increased business activity and a growth in population moving forward,” says a fund manager.

Certainly, while no major developments are expected to be completed in 2010, but by 2011, the IDR should feature a fully operational Nusajaya, which will boast of the New Castle medical school, a partially operational Puteri Harbour, Danga Bay villas, and the Coastal Highway.

The Khazanah-spearheaded Legoland is expected to be operational only in 2013.

An initial optimism for the IDR was when UEM Land successfully attracted international developers such as Limitless LLC and Damac Holdings to participate as strategic partners in Nusajaya.

Limitless and Damac are two of the bigger investors in Nusajaya, with agreements to develop residential and commercial property at Puteri Harbour, the 688-acre crown jewel of the development.

Both have international reputation and solid financial backing.

Herein lies the catalyst.

For the uninitiated, Dubai-based Damac Holdings, is one of the world’s leading luxury waterfront developers.

It plans to build commercial and residential properties and a private marina with a projected gross development value (GDV) of about RM3.8bil in Puteri Harbour, Nusajaya.

Spanning 44 acres, Damac has commited to invest an initial RM397mil for this project to be undertaken over eight to 10 years.

It will be handled by Damac Properties (M) Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Damac Properties LLC, the real estate development unit of Damac.

Meanwhile, UEM Land’s joint venture with Limitless is through its development vehicle Haute Properties Sdn Bhd, where it owns a 40% stake.

It was reported that earlier this year, Limitless has already submitted the layout for the 100-acre residential project in Puteri Harbour .

Haute Properties will develop the 111 acres of the precinct with an initial investment of RM241.8mil.

The development was expected to commence in 2008 and will be completed by 2013 with an estimated GDV in excess of RM1.5bil.

While so far there has been indications of both companies retreating on their agreements, observers close to the company says that no fresh funds have poured in for its Nusajaya development in Iskandar Malaysia.

Afterall, both companies have been grappling with their own problems back home, as the global financial crisis burst the bubble of the Middle Eastern property market.

There have been reports of Damac laying off staff at its headquarters in Tecom, Dubai.

According to Khaleej Times, a Dubai-based newspaper, Damac laid off between 45 and 50 employees in February.

The company axed 200 workers in October last year as the global credit crisis has slowly begun to leave its impact on the property sector.

Earlier in the year, there were reports of employees fired by Damac, that were not paid their full settlement.

According t o an analyst, construction work on Damac’s site has yet to begin.

Damac Properties has some US$30bil worth of projects in the Middle East and North Africa region.

On the other hand, Limitless has nine global projects with a total GDV of US$100bil across UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Russia and India.

“I heard that Damac may want to scale back on its development in Nusajaya, as they have bigger problems in their other developments elsewhere,” says one analyst who used to track UEM World Bhd.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 10:16 AM   #11
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Legoland Malaysia
Legoland theme park is coming to Malaysia ! The location for the theme park will be in Medini in Nusajaya, which is at the heart of the Iskandar Malaysia development. Legoland Malaysia Sdn Bhd will own and operate the theme park. The Legoland logo is cute, isn't it?

Of late, Temasek has become substantial shareholder of WCT, EPF has acquiring WCT's share aggresively from the market. Meanwhile, WCT has built up its reputation in middle east. Looking at the parties that involved in Nusajaya projects, would WCT stand a chance to grab any contract from Nusajaya, if not this Legoland project ? Najib met Hsien Loong in Peru and came to an agreement to develop Nusajaya, looking at the shareholding of EPF, Temasek, and reputation of WCT in middle east (Iskandar is trying to entice investment from middle east), again, would WCT stand a chance to grab any projects in future ? [dislaimer: I am not spreading rumours and not asking you to buy WCT, you should do your own homework before doing any investment !]

Some background of the companies involved:

Iskandar Investment is owned
- 60% Khazanah National Bhd
- 20% EPF
- 20% Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor

Legoland theme park
- 70% Merlin Entertainments Group Ltd
- 30% Lego Group, vehicle of Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, the grandson of the founder of Lego, Ole Kirk Kristiansen

Legoland has four operating parks at: Windsor in UK, Bilund in Denmark, Gunzhurg in Germany and California in US

Merlin Group
- controlled by Blackstone Group LP & Dubai International Capital LLC
- has 58 theme parks and 6 hotels across the globe and caters to about 33 million visitors a year, making it the world's second largest visitor attraction operator.
- several of Merlin's theme parks are in the top 60 worldwide for attendance.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #12
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The Perdana Putra (Malaysian Prime Minister's office) scale model & Official Flower of Malaysia - Hibiscus -

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Old July 5th, 2009, 10:36 AM   #13
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JOHOR BUZZ: Legoland coming to Johor
Friday, January 09, 2009



I USED to love playing with Lego bricks when I was growing up. In fact, I still play with those colourful interlocking plastic bricks but they belong to my nephew and niece, aged 9 and 12 respectively. They were both introduced to Lego when they were 3 years old.

So, you can imagine the excitement when they found out that Legoland was coming to Johor. Well, not that they know anything about the amusement park but more so because this would mean more trips to their father’s hometown.

It was announced in the media on Dec 13 last year that Iskandar Investment Berhad, the investment arm of Iskandar Malaysia, had signed a deal with the Merlin Entertainments Group to set up a Legoland theme park. The RM750-million project will be completed in Nusajaya by 2013.

There are only four such theme parks in the world, namely the Legoland Billund (Billund, Denmark), Legoland Windsor (Windsor, Berkshire, England), Legoland Deutschland (Gunzburg, Germany) and Legoland California (Carlsbad, California, USA).

Legoland Dubai is expected to open in 2012, and is slated to be the first Legoland in the Middle-East.

Of course, Legoland Malaysia will be the first in Southeast Asia unless some other countries in the region beat us to it.

Besides the excitement, I also learnt that there were some reservations from certain quarters in the state regarding Iskandar Investment’s Legoland project. Industry players had preferred an amusement park which was iconic and world-famous like Disneyland.

Malaysian Tourist Guide Council president Jimmy Leong was reported as saying that not many people were familiar with the Legoland brand.
He also said it would be difficult to market Legoland to tourists as Singapore’s Integrated Resorts had more attractive products and services to offer.
A Universal Studios Park is also being planned across the Causeway (or the second link, depending on which crossing you take to get into the island republic). It was learned that even before its construction has begun, the Singapore authorities were already “selling” the attraction worldwide.
I was somewhat upset with the defeatist stand that some of the tourism industry players were taking on this matter.

I believe that Iskandar Investment officials have made the right choice in making Legoland one of the three amusement parks in the Iskandar Development Region.

Do we need another Disneyland when there are already two in Asia, namely Hong Kong and Japan?

Moreover, it is not right to compare what we have and don’t have with Singapore. Perhaps we should learn how they are marketing the attractions instead.

Being the only Legoland in Southeast Asia will be a major pull factor for tourists to cross over from Causeway to Johor.

However, the tourism industry players must realise that they cannot bank on Legoland alone to get tourists to spend their money and time in Johor Baru.
A comprehensive tourist package has to be drawn up comprising competitive hotel rates, efficient transport system, discounted entrance fees and visits to the state’s other attractions.

According to Leong, another possible setback of the Legoland project was that its target audience was restricted to children aged between 2 and 12.
Lest someone forgets, children in that age group do not travel alone. As far as amusement parks are concerned, it is not for kids alone. Adults enjoy it, too.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 10:40 AM   #14
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Help wanted: Legoland offers up bricklaying dream jobs
Legoland's search for new model builders offers some the chance to work with the popular toy every day.
By Joseph Peña, SDNN
Thursday, June 18, 2009



A Legoland model designer works on the park's Miniland
San Francisco model. (Photo courtesy of Legoland.)


There was a time Kristi Klein was afraid to love Lego out loud.

Her sophomore year in high school, after creating a small-scale amusement park out of her old Lego bricks, she was too embarrassed to tell her boyfriend she was the mastermind behind the project.

“I told him my younger sister built it,” said the 30-something Klein, laughing.

Now, Klein’s not shy in the least to tell you what she does for living. After all, she’s got a pretty darn cool job.

Klein, a lead model designer for Legoland California in Carlsbad, spends days designing and building the large-scale and life-size Lego models that decorate the North County theme park.


In the warehouse she supervises about 10 miles from Legoland, in floor-to-ceiling bins, are more than 7.5 million Legos, including rare or out-of-distribution bricks that diehard Lego lovers drool over.

Klein didn’t think twice when she was offered a job as a model builder for the park in 2003. That year, she won Legoland’s nationwide search for undiscovered talent; an everyday Lego architect whose creativity and familiarity with the popular toy was unmatched.

Now, Klein and the Legoland team are on the search for a new model builder. The park is looking to hire up to six new model builders to accommodate plans for expansion. Friday is the deadline for the online application, and potential builders will face off in a series of challenges on Wednesday before the final build Thursday determines a winner.

Klein, who migrated to L.A. from the East Coast in her 20s, started her own business, a flower shop, at 25. After two years at the helm, she started classes at the Art Institute of California, looking for a new creative outlet.

It wasn’t long after she went back to school, her mom — a fellow Adult Fan of Lego (AFOL) — sent her an e-mail with the subject line: “This is the job for you.”

Klein wasn’t looking for a job at the time, but the e-mail intrigued her: Legoland was hunting for model builders. And, as chance would have it, the competition was being held on campus. Thinking it might be an opportunity to do something new, she signed up. For the challenge, a two-hour marathon build, she crafted an underwater scene of Atlantis-style ruins, fish, a large octopus and lost treasure. She called it, “The Octopus’ Garden,” named for The Beatles 1969 tune.

Her speed, creativity and knowledge of Lego paid off. She won the competition and was offered a job on the spot.

“I wanted something exciting and that’s what Legoland offered,” she said. “It’s an opportunity you don’t see every day.”

With Legoland’s plans for a park in Malaysia and new Discovery Centres in Chicago and New Jersey, the expanding brand needs artistic Lego fans to help create the parks’ signature models.

And, while an art background is helpful, it isn’t mandatory; a commitment to quality and craftsmanship and a stellar attitude, however, is necessary Klein said.

“You have to be able to have fun with it,” she said. “You can’t come to work here grouchy.”

Wednesday’s three challenges will force participants to build a replica of a model, to work in a team on a build and to do a freestyle creative build based on a to-be-determined theme. Not all contestants will advance to Thursday’s build-off, but the participants creations will be on display in the park through the summer.

The winners’ models will be on display in Dune Raiders, the park’s newest ride, opening June 26.

And, if the fit is right, Legoland will offer up to six winners the coveted jobs as builders.

Andy Grubb, a 26-year-old former congressional staffer and a longtime Lego lover, was offered his dream job as a builder in 2006,when his Chinese dragon Lego sculpture wowed judges at the competition’s finals.

Grubb took a leap of faith and turned it down. He was happy working in politics in the Bay Area, and he hoped his win at the 2006 competition would leave the door open for a job down the line.

It was good fortune that Legoland was hiring when he decided later he was ready to leave politics.

“I still tell people what I do, and they say, ‘No way,’” Grubb said. “It’s kind of an ideal job. People don’t realize this job exists. Yes, there is a job that you really can have fun doing all the time. I get paid to play with Legos. How much more fun can you have and get paid for it?”

Source: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-06...am-job?pid=353
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Old July 8th, 2009, 06:47 AM   #15
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Asian iconic structures to feature at Legoland in Johor
By ZAZALI MUSA
Wednesday July 8, 2009



Legoland model designer Elizabeth De Silva (left) with Tim Burnel
shorlisting candiates in the competition and interview session.


JOHOR BARU: Legoland Park Malaysia in Iskandar, Malaysia, will have miniature replicas of iconic buildings and structures across the region.

The US$200mil park, to be completed in 2012 on a 23ha site, is a joint venture between Merlin Entertainments Group and Iskandar Investment Bhd.

Merlin Entertainments production director Tim Burnell said the replicas included the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin buildings in the world, and its researchers were currently touring several Asian countries in search of other iconic buildings and structures to be incorporated in the theme park.

“All the structures will be located at Legoland’s Miniland where cities are created and the miniland is part of the theme park,” Burnell told a press conference during the competition and the interviewing session for 84 shortlisted candidates applying to become model shop associates.

He said the theme park would also have famous buildings in Johor Baru, such as the Royal Museum, Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque or the Dataran Bandaraya clock tower.

Other famous structures from the region are India’s Taj Mahal, Beijing Bird’s Nest Stadium, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and Singapore’s Merlion statue.

Burnell said only six candidates would be selected to attend a 10-week training programme in California or Denmark.

“They will build models or components in the Legoland Model Shop here and will assist the master builders to train 40 others who will join the workshop from November.”

Legoland Malaysia would also establish Asia’s first model shop in the Nusa Cemerlang Industrial Park in Nusajaya by October, he said, adding that the model shop would provide models for Legoland worldwide, including many of the 15,000 models that would make up Johor’s theme park.

There are currently four global Legoland parks – in Billund (Denmark), Windsor (outside London), California and Deutschland (Germany).
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:53 AM   #16
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80 vie to 'build' Legoland
NST Online » Local News 2009/07/08
By : SIM BAK HENG



Lee Shin Roei (second from left) and Mohd Syafiqg Md Taib (third from
leftsecond from right) are among the 80 applicants who were shortlisted for
the interview. They observe an exhibit brought by Merlin Entertainment
representatives. With them are officers who assisted in the interview.


JOHOR BARU, Tue:

Legoland Malaysia is another step closer to reality as six people will be selected from a total of 80 job applicants to undergo training in California or Denmark to become model builders.

The 80, who were shortlisted from 277 applicants from all over the country, had attended the job interview on Monday and yesterday.

They had gone through an interview with three judges and three rounds of model-making challenges to test their skills, team work and creativity.

The results of successful applicants will be known in two days.

Merlin Entertainments production director Tim Burnell, who is one of the judges, said the applicants had displayed a high level of creativity.
"But creativity alone is not enough. We also look for team spirit as there are certain huge models which could not be handled by an individual alone but by a team of people.

"The six successful applicants will go for overseas training. When they come back, they will assist the Legoland master builders to train 40 others," he said.

Burnell is responsible for the production and delivery of Lego models, wax figures and themes for Merlin Entertainments, which operates several attractions including Lego- land.

Legoland Malaysia, the first in Asia, will be the fifth in the world when it is completed in 2012, spreading over 23ha. The other four are at Billund in Denmark, Windsor in London, California in the United States and Deutschland in Germany.

Merlin Entertainments signed a landmark agreement last December with Iskandar Investment Bhd to create the US200 million (RM709 million) theme park in Nusajaya.

Burnell said the "miniland" in Legoland Malaysia will feature miniature replicas of iconic buildings and structures across Asia.

"We want iconic old and new buildings of different countries so that they are representative of Asia. Besides the Petronas Twin Towers, we are looking at landmark buildings such as clock towers, mosques and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport," he said.

Besides the miniland, Legoland Malaysia will also feature rides, building challenges, Lego models, interactive attractions, family-friendly roller-coasters and shows.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:56 PM   #17
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Legoland Malaysia To Help Transform Johor Into International Hotspot
Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, -- Establishment of the Legoland Malaysia theme park in Iskandar Malaysia by 2013 will help transform the region's home state of Johor into an international tourist hotspot, according to Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB).

Legoland Malaysia is the first of three international theme parks planned for the state, under the umbrella of key catalytic projects that will be driven by IIB in its tourism master plan for Iskandar Malaysia.

"In completing the master plan, IIB will also enhance the region's tourism appeal with a full-fledged support platform of hotel and resorts, retail, entertainment, and food and beverage outlets of international standards," said managing director Arlida Ariff.

"There will be strict guidelines to adhere to in bringing only the best into Iskandar Malaysia," she said in a statement today.

On the choice of theme park, Arlida said: "We chose a theme park that caters to a growing segment of the Asian tourist market -- families with young children."

"But Legoland also has a strong selling point in offering a high level of parent-child interaction in its attractions, which is a deliberate formula used throughout their franchises," she said.

"This resonates very well with our target market's cultural context and family values," she added.

-- BERNAMA
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Old July 11th, 2009, 07:33 AM   #18
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Lured by Lego
Saturday July 11, 2009
Story and photos



Cute: Legoland model designer Elizabeth De Silva (left) and Burnell with the
two models that had to be assembled by the shortlisted candidates in the
competition and interview session for the Legoland Malaysia recruitment drive.


JOHOR BARU: It’s no child’s play but the prospect of being involved in building the popular Lego models of famous statues and structures lured a flood of job applications to Legoland Park, Malaysia.

The theme park, opening in Nusajaya, Iskandar Malaysia, received overwhelming response from job-seekers for the position of model shop associate in its initial recruitment drive.

Some 277 applicants from all over the country submitted their applications for the vacancy; 84 were shortlisted and eventually only six would be hired.

As model shop associates, they will build Lego models or components of models at the park’s Model Shop located within the Nusa Cemerlang industrial park.

“In hiring people, we look for those with skill and creativity, and are able to work as a team,” said Merlin Entertainments Group production director Tim Burnell at the candidates’ interview and competition session.

He said the six successful candidates would undergo a 10-week training programme either in California in the US, or Denmark this September.

Burnell said he was “pleasantly surprised” with the high standard and enthusiasm shown by the shortlisted candidates during the two-day session held early this week.

Upon completing their training stint, the six Malaysian pioneers will assist the master builders to train 40 others joining the workshop from November 2009.

The hiring competition is the fourth model builder search by Legoland and the first outside of the United States.

Legoland Malaysia will also establish Asia’s first model shop here. Burnell added that the model shop would provide models for Legoland worldwide, including many of the 15,000 models that would make up Johor’s theme park.

The US$200mil (RM714.7mil) theme park, to be completed in 2012 on a 23ha site, is a joint venture between Iskandar Investment Bhd and Merlin Entertainments Group.

The theme park will feature more than 30 interactive rides, shows and attractions while the development components include a unique lifestyle retail centre, offices, hotels, service apartments and residential units.

There are currently four Legoland Parks in the world – one each in Billund, Denmark; Windsor, outside of London; California, USA; and Deutschland (Gunzburg), Germany.

Legoland Malaysia will be the first Legoland in Asia and the park will have miniature replicas of iconic buildings and famous structures from Asian countries.

Among them are the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin buildings in the world, India’s Taj Mahal, Bird Nest Stadium in Beijing, Singapore’s Merlion and also landmarks in Johor such as the Royal Museum, Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque and Dataran Bandaraya Johor Baru Clock Tower.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 06:41 AM   #19
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Malaysia’s Legoland to get Asian touch
Sunday July 12 2009

JOHOR BARU, July 12 — In 2012, you might be able to drive across the Second Link to Johor Baru and, in 15 minutes, catch a view of the Petronas Twin Towers, India's Taj Mahal, Cambodia's Angkor Wat and Singapore's Merlion — all at one go.

If these iconic edifices do pop up, however, they will be a bit smaller than usual. And they will be made up of tiny plastic bricks.

These are the sights being considered at Asia's first Legoland, which is slated to come up at the Iskandar Malaysia development region in three years' time.

Unlike the four other Legolands elsewhere — in Germany, England, Denmark and the United States — Legoland Malaysia is expected to boast an Asian theme, giving the familiar world of bricks a touch of local flavour.

Some 30 million Lego bricks will be used in the RM750 million theme park, which will boast more than 30 rides, shows and attractions, from roller coasters and boat rides to adventure walks.

Legoland Malaysia is one of the many projects in the Iskandar development region which the government wants to build up as an economic, leisure and residential hub.

Covering 23ha, or about the size of 30 football fields, it will be a 15-minute drive from the Tuas Second Link.

More details are being worked out, with construction slated to begin later this year, but its developer, Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB), says the entrance fee will be “affordable for a family of six”.

Despite the global economic crisis and competition from other theme parks, IIB is convinced that Malaysia's first theme park will do well.

Well enough, in fact, for the government-backed IIB to revise its projected visitors numbers upwards — from 1 million a year to 1.4 million.

Malaysians are expected to make up half of these, with foreigners — mostly Indonesians and Singaporeans — making up the other half.

“When we assessed what we wanted to build, we looked at many operators, even Disney,” IIB's chief executive Arlida Ariff told The Sunday Times recently.

“But Disney, let's face it, would cost more than RM750 million. We felt that for a decent price, we're getting a quality theme park, with viable returns.”

Those returns may have to take into account the challenges brought about by the global downturn, which has already hit some projects in Iskandar Malaysia.

Last month, Dubai-based developer Damac Properties pulled out of a high-profile deal with state developer UEM Land, citing the financial crisis.

Arlida acknowledged the challenges, as well as the stiff competition Legoland Malaysia will face from other theme parks like Hong Kong's Disneyland, Singapore's upcoming Universal Studios and Australia's Dreamworld.

These, she pointed out, catered to an older crowd, leaving the younger audience out of play.

Legoland is targeting children aged two to 12.

“Sure, Legoland is not as well-known as a theme park, but we all played with Lego while we were growing up,” she said.

There is also some good news for adults: The theme park is reportedly expected to create some 5,000 jobs.

Production director Tim Burnell of Merlin Entertainments, which will manage the park, was in Johor last week to recruit for some of the jobs.

The company was looking to hire model makers, who can earn anywhere between RM1,400 and RM5,000 each.

It is something that architecture graduate Ibrahim Rahmat, 20, hopes to do.

Last week, he took a 12-hour bus ride from Perlis to Kuala Lumpur for the interview, which involved three rounds of making models using Lego bricks.

“I really want this job. I think I'll love the working environment,” he said. — Straits Times
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Old July 17th, 2009, 04:20 AM   #20
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Source: http://www.iskandarinvestment.com/do...CHURE_2009.pdf

[IMG]http://www.**************/show/2009/07/17/05/20/4469629_1905x1269.JPG[/IMG]
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