The terminal will enhance international connectivity for destinations with direct access from Singapore and Indonesia’s Riau Islands
by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by BERNAMA
THE Desaru Coast Ferry Terminal is expected to unlock new business, as well as key investment opportunities for Desaru Coast Destination Resorts.
The terminal, the final catalytic component of the phase one development of Desaru Coast, was officiated by Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar yesterday.
Desaru Development Holdings One Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Amran Hafiz Affifudin said the terminal will enhance international connectivity for destinations with direct access from Singapore and Indonesia’s Riau Islands of Batam and Bintan.
He added that the new international gateway with ease of travel and speed in border crossing will greatly increase the volume of travellers into Johor.
According to Amran, with tourism being a key economic sector for Johor, and some large industries operating in the eastern region of the state, an international ferry terminal that eases cross-border travel will significantly enhance access.
He noted that the growth in international arrivals is expected to have a positive economic multiplier impact on the businesses of tourism players, entrepreneurs and other industries that will potentially drive job creation.
“As a long-term developer, entrusted to play a central role in the tourism landscape of Johor, it has been our commitment and responsibility to bring value to the community and state.
“While we developed the ferry terminal into a connectivity and catalytic component for Desaru Coast to realise its full potential as an international destination, we hope that it will foster wider benefits for the state.
“In establishing this international gateway as the 16th entry point into Malaysia, we hope to spur and multiply the socioeconomic development for the state and subsequently the country,” he said during the officiating event of the ferry terminal in Kota Tinggi, Johor, yesterday.
The completion of the Desaru Coast Ferry Terminal marks the conclusion of the development work in the first phase of Desaru Coast by the master developer.
With this, the destination is poised to execute its strategic and commercial plans in its next phase of business growth.
Meanwhile, Desaru Development MD and CEO Roslina Arbak said the new connectivity infrastructure will allow an increase in the volume of visitors putting Johor in a better position to capture the wider regional meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions market.
She said this convenient cross border ferry connectivity further allows the state to offer international luxury hotel-branded residences and private homes for those looking for a beach resort lifestyle with an easy commute.
“From a longer-term strategic perspective, we are ready to welcome like-minded investors who wish to leverage the infrastructure and facilities we have put in place to further enhance destination offerings and ensure the success of all players at Desaru Coast,” she noted.
Fully equipped with Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex, and maritime facilities, the terminal features the latest bidirectional immigration automated e-gate where it offers a double swing door and enhanced security features, making immigration screening more efficient and effective at peak travel times.
The ferry terminal is also able to process 300 passengers at any given time and it hopes to serve two round trips from Singapore on Thursdays to Sundays and one round trip on Monday to Wednesday based on market demand.
Once operational, the terminal will see passengers arriving from Singapore within 90 minutes, while trips from Batam and Bintan may take 75 minutes and 45 minutes, respectively.
The operating hours of the ferry terminal is 6am to 10pm.
There are also seven government agencies in service at the terminal, namely the Immigration Department, Customs Department, Marine Department, Health Ministry, Pharmacy Department, Quarantine and Inspection Services, and Royal Malaysia Police.