Phase 1 of the Widad Langkasuka project is set to begin a new era of luxury in Langkawi
THE island of Langkawi is already a well-known tourist destination in Asia among travellers worldwide.
In fact, Malaysia’s top holiday island is on track to achieve its goal of recording 2.5 million tourist arrivals this year. It attracted 3.9 million international visitors in 2019 before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
Now, an ambitious project planned for Langkawi by Widad Business Group Sdn Bhd (WBG) has commenced on Oct 23, 2022, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Langkasuka Land Sdn Bhd.
Phase 1 of the Widad Langkasuka project — Langkasuka Village — is now full steam ahead, marking the start of the earthwork package worth RM40 million, which is set to be completed by Aug 3, 2023.
The approval of the rezoning of land use and the obtainment of development planning approval enabled the commencement of physical works.
This kickstarts WBG founder and group executive chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Ikmal Opat Abdul- lah’s grand dream of transforming and paving the way for the evolution of Langkawi from being the Jewel of Kedah to becoming the “IT” destination of the world.
A new urban development, part of the Widad Langkasuka project involves constructing 1,000 acres (404.7ha) of artificial islands in the bay next to Langkawi International Airport. The project will form an eagle-shaped landmass, in honour of the white-crested eagle that is the symbol of Langkawi.
Confident on WBG’s role in revolutionising tourism in the area while meeting global standards, Muhammad Ikmal Opat said: “As a high-impact project, Widad Langkasuka will be built by focusing on the concept of providing conducive infrastructure and facilities to unleash Langkawi as a tourist destination of global standards.”
Langkasuka Village forms part of the greater 2,000 acres (809.4ha) of Widad Langkasuka, which shall subsequently include the eagle-shaped man-made islands known as Langkasuka City.
The Langkasuka Village development’s crowning jewel will be the Langkasuka Golf and Country Club, a tournament-level golf course with a 400,000 sq ft build-up clubhouse. Phase 1 will also house the Lang- Villa, luxury villas surrounded by the sprawling golf course; an artistically designed mall for indoor and outdoor retail, and entertainment experiences; a rainforest-themed hotel that touches the Andaman Sea; as well as serviced apartments and luxury condominiums.
With the motto of “Evolving Legacy”, Widad Langkasuka aspires to bring forward the rich legacy of ancient Langkasuka, which in its time was the foremost trading post of Nusantara, and, thus, evolving it into a cutting-edge city of the future.
Widad Langkasuka aims to become a smart city with sustainable technology that respects its rich culture and the island’s geographical essences, entertainment and the arts to complement the integrated development’s residences, businesses, education and medical hub.
According to WBG, the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) is facilitating Langkasuka Land through region-specific fiscal and non-fiscal incentives that encourage high-value and substantive regional investments. The whole mixed-development project is estimated to be worth RM40 billion.
When completed, it will become a tourist city built on the model of “Malay vernacular architecture” and house a global community based on the archipelago’s heritage of designs that adopt local tropical features that are green and eco-friendly.
Catalyst for New Investments
The ground-breaking ceremony on Oct 23, 2022, was officiated by Kedah Mentri Besar (MB) Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor at the Pelangi Beach and Spa Resort.
“I believe Widad Langkasuka will be an iconic product and a unique attraction to Langkawi when it is completely built in the future…I would like to praise this project because it has fulfilled six main core of the Kedah Development Plan 2035,” said the MB.
Also at the event was Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) CEO Datuk Wira Arham Abdul Rahman, who said: “WBG’s expansion in Malaysia marks its confidence in the country’s continued economic recovery growth. It also serves as a catalyst for the development of new potential investments as well as rebuilding a resilient and sustainable local tourism industry.”
Arham said the inauguration of Langkasuka Village will further boost the tourism businesses and activities on the island, particularly among upmarket visitors.
“This initiative, which aligns well with the National Tourism Policy 2020-2030, will not only harness the competitiveness of Malaysia’s tourism industry, but will also enable local communities to achieve socio-economic developments. Mida will stand ready to facilitate and support WBG’s project implementation and future expansion.”
WBG is a conglomerate with diversified business interests, namely in integrated facility management, construction, property development, defence technology, education, media, IT and communications.
Incorporated in 2002, WBG is wholly-owned by Muhammad Ikmal Opat, who is also the single largest shareholder of Bursa Malaysia-listed Widad Group Bhd and Dataprep Holdings Bhd.
- This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition