Tourists from across the globe flock to Malaysia for a unique dose of culture, great food and Asian hospitality. A tropical wonder with rainforests that contain practically every type of flora and fauna, as well as cities chock full of people from almost every background, it is also a little known fact that Malaysia is currently one of the only true elective monarchies in the world!

Here’s an idea, why not add a little twist to your investment plans for 2017 and beyond. Invest in properties within the vicinity of royal tourist spots and in the royal towns to provide accommodation to googley-eyed palace hoppers. You could even set up a royal-themed homestay, working together with tour operators to provide a ‘full package’ experience.

 


1. Istana Bukit Serene, Johor

The official residence and royal palace of the Sultan of Johor, this attraction is a symbol of the modern Johor Sultanate and one of the most famous landmarks in Johor where occasionally, the Royal Highness himself entertains tourists. There is a huge garden where gatherings and celebrations are held and the palace also contains a lovely high tower and crown arch. Nearby, you will find the Tan Sri Hassan Yunus Stadium and Royal Johor Country Club.


Why You Should Invest Here?

Take the cue from the China developers such as Greenland Group and Country Garden Holdings (developer of the mega development Forest City) that are making their mark here, as well as this manufacturing company which is banking millions on Johor.

Aside from tourism, you can take advantage of good buys due to the property market here being depressed. The state capital in Johor is strategically located close to Singapore and has a large population. The JB-Singapore Rapid Transit System is also set to fuel the demand for properties in the area.

Some nice properties can be found in Johor Bahru such as Molek Pine and Golden Sands and Taman Pelangi.



2. Istana Iskandariah, Kuala Kangsar, Perak

Arguably the most attractive royal palace in Malaysia, this riverside palace is an interesting mix of Moorish/Arab architecture and art-deco. It is the official residence of the Sultan of Perak. You can find Istana Iskandariah just a short drive away from the Ubudiah Mosque in Perak’s royal town of Kuala Kangsar. Near the Mosque is another palace known as Istana Tepas or Istana Lembah.


Why You Should Invest Here?

In 2017, Property developer UEM Sunrise Bhd possessed around 2,400 acres of landbank in Perak and the government has provided infrastructure for foreign companies, as well as amenities like international schools so that expats do not need to work in other states to get what they require.

The developer of Manhattan Condominium which is located in the state of Perak, Miclebina Properties Sdn Bhd is also getting in on the homestay business, and is offering aspiring homestay operators the chance to purchase a unit to serve as a homestay.

With a little renovation, Seri Manjung could suit your needs and for properties a short distance away from the royal town such as Sunland Residence, you could provide maps and leaflets to guide your guests on their journey.



3. Istana Maziah, Kuala Terengganu

The palace is normally open to the public during the Hari Raya festival, when the Sultan has an audience with the people of Terengganu. The palace also hosts ceremonial occasions such as conferment of titles, royal birthdays and receptions for dignitaries. Resembling a French chateau with tall, shuttered windows, the palace’s design sets it apart from the other traditional palaces.


Why You Should Invest Here?

The Kuala Terengganu City Centre (KTCC) is being developed in the state to bolster Kuala Terengganu’s image as a Heritage Waterfront City (Bandaraya Warisan Pesisir Air), boost coastal and urban tourism and is set to have retail outlets and a theme park, as well as residential components. The KTCC drawbridge is also set to be a part of the state and is the first in Southeast Asia with a café, observation platform and gallery. The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) is attracting investments to the state and the state’s GDP is expected to rise to RM41.5 billion in 2020.

We can imagine a royal themed homestay at Sarai, can you?



4. Istana Seri Menanti, Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan

The official palace of the Yang Dipertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, the Istana Besar Seri Menanti (Grand Palace of Seri Menanti) can be found in the small town of Seri Menanti (the royal capital of Negeri Sembilan state) in the Kuala Pilah district of Negeri Sembilan. Built with timber pillars and bed chambers, the palace is made with wooden pegs (using no screws or nails) and features intricate wood carvings on the walls. Today, it functions as a museum which exhibits royal paraphernalia as well as weapons, costumes and documents illustrating the lineage and history of the royal family.


Why You Should Invest Here?

Other than the palace, there are other attractions around Kuala Pilah such as the Ulu Bendul Recreation Park. In Negeri Sembilan hotbeds such as Nilai, good buying prices beat places like Petaling Jaya and modern telecommunications facilities, as well as great infrastructure spur development.

The big names developers such as Mesa Hills Group and Sime Darby Property Bhd are active in the state with foreign investors buying residential properties and renting them out for recurring income purpose. It is expected that even in a volatile economy, properties in Negeri Sembilan hotbeds will remain a good hedge against inflation.

In this state, you could consider The Villas at Bandar Enstek for your homestay.  



5. Istana Alam Shah, Klang, Selangor

Located in southern Klang, the royal town of Selangor, Alam Shah Palace is the Sultan of Selangor’s official palace and most royal ceremonies are held here. The palace is intricately designed and decked out with beautifully manicured gardens and a Royal Banquet Room that can seat a thousand guests. In this royal town, you will also find the Sultan Abdul Aziz Royal Gallery and Sultan Sulaiman Mosque (which contains royal stairs from Istana Alam Shah).


Why You Should Invest Here?

Aside from having a palace to its name, Selangor also wants to be the location of a world trade centre in five years. The state is set to boost travel and tourism to the area through many initiatives such as the Selangor International Expo (SIE), the Selangor-Asean Business Conference as well as the Selangor Smart City & Future Commerce Convention 2017.

With business-friendly policies and a highly developed infrastructure, Selangor is also set to be the home of The Selangor Bio Bay, a bio valley which spans over 1,000 acres in Pulau Indah and will house laboratories, biotech-related manufacturing activities and research institutes.

The beautiful Bandar Botanic would make a wonderful setting for your royal homestay here.



Conclusion

From designated Royal Towns to amazing waterfront locations, the Royal families of Malaysia live lives of opulence and grandeur. Tourists flock to the areas that have become eclipsed by their colorful stories. Aside from being the seats of royalty, these areas also provide many other great opportunities for the savvy property entrepreneur to capitalize on. You just might make a King’s treasure from your latest investment in these areas.

Don’t forget to check out PropSocial in the search for your desired property!



(Written by: Rauf Fadzilla, 14th Nov 2017)