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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Largest mall in Borneo opens

Shopping paradise: 1Borneo is the latest mall to open in Kota Kinabalu Sunday.

KOTA KINABALU: The opening of Borneo’s largest hypermall, 1Borneo, has the potential to place Sabah among the top regional shopping destinations, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said.

He said 1Borneo was an added attraction here for shoppers seeking bargains and branded goods and was part of the state’s efforts to diversify its tourism products, currently best known for its natural eco-tourism activities and destinations.

Calling for the tapping of shopping tourists who fly to regional centres like Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore and Bangkok, Musa said it was important for the state to draw in these tourists, especially those living within three to six hours flying time of the city.

“We should keep striving to create new attractions and malls such as 1Borneo are one such product,” he said at the soft opening of the RM1.2bil hypermall, which was jointly developed by the state-owned Warisan Harta Sabah Sdn Bhd, Sagajuta (Sabah) Sdn Bhd and United Sabah Islamic Association, owner of the 10ha site.

The mall has 139,354 sq metres of shopping area, and among others, has four international chain hotels, condominiums, an Auto City, oceanarium and Discovery Centre, handicraft cultural centre and a cineplex among others.

The state was projected to increase tourism receipts from RM2.88bil in 2006 to a whopping RM48.5bil in 2025 through the initiatives outlined in the 18-year Sabah Development Corridor blueprint.

Musa also hoped that retailers opening shops in 1Borneo would employ local youths being trained in government and private colleges.

By The Star

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