A new metropolis, known as Iskandar, is planned for Johor in southern Malaysia.
The rolling terrain was once covered with palm oil plantations. These have been bulldozed to make way for theme parks, luxury homes, international schools, hotels, hospitals, a film studio and a business district – all to be completed by 2025.
The metropolis – which, covering 2,217 sq km (887 sq miles) is three times the size of neighbouring Singapore – will be one of five economic growth corridors developed in Malaysia. However, Iskandar is not planned to be an economic competitor to Singapore and Malaysia has even sought investors from the rich neighbouring state to collaborate. By the end of 2010, investment commitments in Iskandar already totalled 69.5 billion ringgit ($23 billion) surpassing its original target by 48 percent.
Iskandar will be developed in phases, with plans to improve rail, sea and air connections to Singapore and facilitate easier immigration clearance.