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Damai Central has great potential

I FINALLY got to see the Damai Central development for myself recently and I must say it is quite impressive – infrastructure-wise. The idea is definitely there and I hope the execution will be just as good.

What it needs are quality tenants. This is a great opportunity to showcase good local businesses. And the setting is really beautiful!

This is how the Borneo Post reported it in June:

Damai Central debuts as new tourism icon in Kuching

KUCHING: The development of  an ultimate getaway destination in Kuching, Damai Peninsular is slated to see another tourism icon being added to its list of attractions – the Damai Central, an innovative resort-style multi-purpose complex.

The Damai Central complex features an open design concept which takes full advantage of the natural ambiance of sun sand and sea, with a backdrop of jungle greenery and mountain landscape. Situated on a 3.5 hectare land, it snuggles between the internationally known Damai Beach Resort and Damai Puri Resort & Spa.

“The location of the bazaar complex cannot be faulted ‘feng shui’ wise. From a business perspective, the complex would also stand to benefit from the efforts of its neighbouring establishments, well connected by roads,” Damai Bay Management Sdn Bhd (Damai Bay) managing director Terence Tiong Ing Huat told The Borneo Post in a recent interview.

Damai Bay was contracted by Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) as the forerunner and management company for the RM18 million Damai Central development project. The project would be fully operational in the next few months.

“The complex consists of a food court featuring local specialities and commercial lots made up of a seafood restaurant and a bar facing the open sea, convenience shop, souvenir outlets as well as booths for tours arrangement, renting of recreational facilities and services,” said Tiong.

“Besides the business lots, there is a multi-purpose hall, an open-stage and an open-air arena, which are ideal for staging concerts, carnivals and exhibitions. The views and the combination of ‘five elements’ (sun, sand, sea, jungle, mountain) drives Damai Central to be one of the most innovative resort-style complex in Sarawak,” he added.

When asked on the challenges ahead, Damai Bay chairman Dennis Hon pointed out that the vision was to transform Damai and Santubong Peninsular into an oasis of life and activity. “We have a  broad vision to enhance and enrich the living experience of both the local populace and tourists alike by providing them with facilities and services in the domain of shopping, sports, entertainment, recreation and leisure.”

“We do not see Damai Beach or Damai Puri as a competitors but instead we treat them as our partners. We are there to complement them with these value added services, providing the activities and facilities that are relatively lacking at the holiday resorts in Damai,” added Hon.

Meanwhile, on the security front, Tiong revealed that there was a verbal approval for setting up a police booth, station at Damai Central.

“We will install high-end closed-circuit televisions installed around the area to ensure our visitors and tenants’ safety. Apart from that, our management office will be station at the complex, to show that we are not just renting out the spaces but to work together with the tenants, ensuring success in every field.

“We do not leave everything to our tenants. Instead, we want them to be our partners,” Tiong stressed.

In terms of event organising, Hon said that Damai Bay intends to work with various event organisers to showcase the talents in organising or holding an events.

“We do not have any plans to setup an event management team. However, we would work with an external event coordinators or event organisers because we want to make use of our local talents here, to boost up activities and entertainment in Damai,” he explained.

When asked on the tenants’ occupancy take up rate, Tiong revealed that there were quite a number of interested parties approaching them for more information and few were still under discussion. “We would like to keep a certain standard because we want to make Damai not just a place for holidays, but to become the iconic commercial and entertainment centre in the area.”

Commenting on the growth front, Tiong said, “Spillover from the major hotels such as Damai Beach Resort, Damai Puri, Santubong Resort as well as homestays and budget lodging houses in the vicinity will drive the growth of Damai Central forward. Most significantly, the reservoir of clients generated daily and annually by the Sarawak Cultural Village is huge,” said Tiong.

“Also, we choose Damai Central because of the government and state’s support tourism authorities continuous support and attention to Damai and the Santubong Peninsular as a tourism designated area.”

Hon concluded, “We are convinced that these positive factors together with a sound management plan and policy will make the Damai Central an attractive, viable and prudent investment choice. We are always open for suggestions and opportunities.”

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