New Kidzania theme park to be developed

Wannado City: Kidzania is a family entertainment centre where children play adult roles in a child-sized replica of an actual city. Picture: Agencies

Monday, June 29, 2009

A NEW Kidzania theme park will be developed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah), the investment arm of the government of Malaysia through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Themed Attractions and Resorts Sdn Bhd (TAR), together with Malaysian government-Linked Boustead Holdings Berhad (Boustead Group) signed a licensing agreement via their Joint Venture company, Rakan Riang Sdn Bhd (RRSB), to develop the Kidzania theme park.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Tan Sri Dato' Haji Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin, Khazanah's Managing Director Tan Sri Dato' Azman Hj Mokhtar and Director of Boustead Holdings Berhad, Dato' Ghazali Mohd Ali.

The licensing agreement was signed by Founder and CEO of Kidzania SA de CV, Xavier Lopez Ancona, and Tunku Ali Redhauddin Tuanku Muhriz on behalf of RRSB, according to a press release issued by Boustead Holdings.

Kidzania Kuala Lumpur will be an indoor educational theme park which allows children to experience adult occupations first hand.

It will be located in Mutiara Damansara in a new seven-storey building diagonally across from the Curve. The building will be physically linked to the Curve via a sky bridge. The RM50 million ($20.6 million) KidZania theme park will occupy approximately 60,000 square feet on levels six and seven of the proposed building and is expected to be open to the public at the start of 2012. It hopes to attract some 500,000 visitors per annum.

Tan Sri Dato' Azman Hj Mokhtar commented: "KidZania on its own could boost the services industry, and is a strong complement to the education and entertainment sectors. Kidzania will take edutainment to another level as children will be able to learn how to be responsible members of the society and at the same time, get inspired to achieve success in the future."

Kidzania is a family entertainment centre where children play adult roles in a child-sized replica of an actual city with streets, buildings, shops as well as vehicles moving along its streets. In this city, children learn about the adult world, active social interaction and the value of money and work.

Children can work as doctors, firefighters, policemen, journalists or be involved in 100 other role-playing activities at more than 40 establishments to earn income in the form of "kidZos", which they can then spend elsewhere in the Kidzania city or save in their own Kidzania bank accounts.

Apart from this, renowned brands and products will be featured and incorporated into the city environment to create a truly realistic atmosphere.

Kidzania was named the "Best Theme Park Worldwide" by the Themed Entertainment Association in 2001. In both 2003 and 2006 it was awarded the Top Family Entertainment Centre of the World by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).

Just last week, Kidzania was named Global Leisure Operator of the Year by Retail & Leisure International (RLI), in an awards ceremony in London. Kidzania is the brainchild of Mexican entrepreneur, Xavier Lopez Ancona, a former GE Capital executive.

The first Kidzania opened its doors in 1999 in the Santa Fe Shopping Mall of Mexico City; this facility has maintained an annual average attendance of over 800,000 visitors since opening. Kidzania is already developing additional locations in South Korea, Dubai, Chile, Thailand, India, China and Turkey. The Brunei Times