By Mike Derrett
The Prime Minister of Malaysia YAB Dato’Sri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak has unveiled the master plan of a massive new island development in Malacca ‘The Melaka Gateway’ which will comprise one natural and two man-made Islands – spanning 609 acres. The project is being undertaken by KAJ Developments and is already underway with the launch ceremony taking place on the first piece of reclaimed land. In his speech, the Prime Minister drew attention to changes that are evident in leisure and tourism globally, including the rapid rise in the number of High Net Worth Individuals in Asia that are spending increasing amounts on leisure including large yachts for purchase and charter.
Datuk Michelle Ong the CEO for KAJ developments said, “The construction of Melaka Gateway is a much sought after waterfront investment due to the heritage of Melaka and the strategic location in the Malacca Straights astride one of the world’s classic routes for yachts venturing into Asia from the west”.
Besides 15 km of waterfront, a key component of the project is to be an exclusive marina which will eventually cater for 1,000 yachts, making it the largest single marina complex in Asia. According to Alan Pickering from Singapore based marina consultants Prometheus Marine, it is planned that the first tranche of berths will be operational late in 2014 as a temporary marina.
Present at the launch was HE Mhd Al Shaali, the chairman of UAE based superyacht builder Majesty Yachts, who commented, “I am extremely pleased to see the launch of the project which will provide much needed additional berths and service support facilities for large yachts in Asia, an area that we are actively targeting”.
Malaysia has few obstacles to leisure boating with zero tax on leisure boats, no compulsory registration or licensing and no requirement for crew to be licensed on yachts under 24 metres. This makes it an interesting area for expatriates and overseas yacht owners looking to reduce rising yacht ownership costs.