Desaru Coast – desired business and leisure hub

I have a staff in Singapore who reports to me but is under the local country headcount. So, she was invited to the company’s retreat cum team building while I was NOT invited since my headcount is under the regional team. They were going to Desaru. I have heard of this name a couple of times but has not visited it before. Where is Desaru anyway? Assuming the office is at downtown, say Woodlands, the distance to Desaru Beach would be about 81km. Driving into Johor, the duration end end would take one hour and 40 minutes. Not too bad as I would need to drive slightly longer to reach the Morib Beach from Kuala Lumpur. The beach at Desaru is definitely nicer than the beach at Morib. Google Desaru Beach and look at some of the photos. It’s beautiful. (As long as you do not compare it to say Perhentian Island or even Tioman Island)

Then, I read about a huge development in Desaru called the Desaru Coast project. The full article in NST here: Desaru Coast poised to become global business, leisure hub. There are already two golf clubs there. The Ocean Course, a 27-hole golf course designed by Ernie Els, and Valley Course, an 18-hole golf course designed in collaboration with Els’ long-standing friend and major champion, Vijay Singh. (It does not say how many golfers would visit these golf courses on a weekly basis) The Desaru Development Holdings One Sdn Bhd executive director and chief executive officer Muhammad Zainal Ashikin Muhammad Rejab said the unique propositions of Desaru Coast were that it catered to holidaymakers, families, couples, golfers and the corporate sector. Key target markets included people residing in Singapore, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan and South Korea. Desaru has 17km of pristine beachfront land. Desaru Coast will include international hotels and resorts, a conference centre, 27- and 18-hole golf courses, a themed water park and a retail village. The developer is Desaru Development Holdings One, a subsidiary of Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels Sdn Bhd, which in turn is a unit of Khazanah Nasional Bhd. More resorts and hotels are coming. (I think these new players would have already done sufficient market research before building) The full article in NST is here. 

With regards to golf courses, I think it has good appeal. Fathers loving golf can bring his whole family there. While the kids enjoy a dipping the pool, he could swing his golf clubs for many hours. Many business deals are also closed on the golf courses too. The retail village could help, as long as it is NOT the usual stuffs that could be found in Singapore, for example. Think along the lines of Johor Premium Outlet and I think we have a successful combination. Anyway, team buildings for Singaporean companies would find Johor much more attractive than doing it within. The reason? Their staffs might have been to the local attractions before and would love somewhere new. I think that was also the reason why my Singapore office decided to choose Desaru instead of Sentosa island for example. Yes, ringgit plays an important part too. I could drive to Desaru from KL but it would take me over 4 hours. Perhaps KL is not a target market in this case. All the best Desaru!

written on 22 July 2017

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