Flagship zones are development focal points – earmarked for high growth. There are five flagship zones in Iskandar Malaysia. However, not all areas in Iskandar Malaysia fall under a flagship zone.
When researching where to invest in Iskandar Malaysia, it is best that we think in terms of flagship zones. Each flagship zone has its own unique characteristics.
1. What are the characteristics of each flagship zones?
Flagship A – Johor Bahru City Centre
Johor Bahru (colloquially known as JB) is the central business district and the state capital of Johor. Founded in 1855, it is a place full of historical buildings, famous local cuisines, and night bazaars. It is a favorite haunt among locals and Singaporeans. Over the weekend, shopping malls are crowded with locals and tourists.
Johor Bahru City Square is a famous landmark that houses a shopping mall and an office building. It is directly connected to the CIQ (Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine Complex) via a pedestrian bridge. Singaporeans can easily hop over to City Square for a weekend outing.
New development areas include Danga Bay and Tanjung Puteri. This is where major Chinese developers are investing in. Danga Bay is a waterfront development facing the bay, while Tanjung Puteri is a seafront development facing the Straits of Johor.
Flagship B – Iskandar Puteri
Iskandar Puteri (formerly known as Nusajaya) is a new district with an international flavour. Most of the catalyst projects are concentrated here. Two well-known projects are Legoland Malaysia Resort and Sanrio Hello Kitty Town.
There are many expats living here – attracted to a well-planned community and high-quality educational institutes. Perhaps the most famous school here is Marlborough College Malaysia. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge is an ex-pupil of Marlborough College in the UK.
Important places that you need to remember are Medini, Puteri Harbour, and Gerbang Nusajaya. Medini serves as the central business district, while Puteri Harbour focuses on tourism. Gerbang Nusajaya will house the upcoming high-speed rail station.
Flagship C – Western Gate Development
This is Iskandar Malaysia’s most important maritime hub. It revolves around the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) – the 18th busiest container port in the world. ATT Tanjung Bin (ATB), an oil storage terminal is located across the PTP.
A major project in the works is the Tanjung Piai Maritime Industrial Park (TPMIP). It is capable of accommodating all major oil and gas developments, from upstream, midstream to downstream. TPMIP is situated off the coast of Tanjung Piai on a man-made island.
This zone also includes a number of Ramsar sites. A Ramsar site is a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar convention.
Flagship D – Eastern Gate Development
Located in the east, this zone covers the industrial parks and ports in Pasir Gudang and Tanjung Langsat. Key economic activities are focused on heavy industries and logistics. There are more than 300 factories in this zone – an important backbone of the local economy.
Bandar Seri Alam is the largest integrated urban development within the zone. Known as the ‘City of Knowledge’, it offers four universities, a junior college, and numerous schools. Another notable development is Senibong Cove, where you can find high-end waterfront living.
Flagship E – Senai-Skudai
This zone comprises of two towns, namely Senai and Skudai. Johor’s only international airport is in Senai. The Senai International Airport has direct flights to Guangzhou, Jakarta, Surabaya, Ho Chi Minh City, and major Malaysian cities.
A stone’s throw away from the airport is Johor Premium Outlets (JPO). Over here you can find a variety of branded goods at a discounted price. It is a popular tourist destination.
Skudai is a rapidly expanding suburb, popular among the local Malaysian Chinese. This zone is supported by industrial areas such Johor Technology Park, Senai High-Tech Park, and Sedenak Industrial Park.
2. Does this mean I should only invest within a flagship zone?
No. While flagship zones are earmarked for high growth, there will be spillover effects into adjacent areas. You can also invest at a lower price point outside the five flagship zones.
3. How should I select which flagship zone to invest in?
Apart from having different characteristics, properties in each zone have different price points. Look for something that matches your budget.
Determine your investment horizon. For a short investment horizon, look for mature areas. But if you have the holding power, you may consider new development areas.
Lastly, find out what are the future developments in each zone. Bear in mind that a planned development can still be redesigned, postponed or cancelled.