Mandalika: The Indonesian myth soon to be a reality

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Invest Islands co-founder Kevin Deisser talks to WILLIAMS MEDIA about what could be the Indonesian Government’s most ambitious development to date. 

Invest Island founder and co-founder Jack Brown and Kevin Deisser

Indonesian folklore theorizes Lombok was once home to a beautiful princess called Mandalika.

The young royal, tired of the island’s eligible bachelors constantly fighting for her hand in marriage, climbed atop a cliff and threw herself into the Indian Ocean — where she promptly morphed into a cluster of radiant sea worms and was never seen again. 

The story may be mythical, but the protagonist’s name is once again generating interest on Lombok’s south coast. 

Backed by the Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), the Mandalika Project is a special economic zone that covers 1,175-hectares of coastal land and will eventually be home to more than 16,000 hotel rooms, a waterpark, 27-hole golf course, 1,500 villas, and an international-standard motor-racing circuit.

The estimated cost of the venture is believed to exceed US$3 billion. 

While the global pandemic has understandably affected construction timelines around the world, Invest Islands’ development of a 150-room beachfront resort and residence at the site continues.

Kuta Mandalika

Invest Islands co-founder Kevin Deisser told WILLIAMS MEDIA the situation appeared to the same with ITDC and its construction of the Mandalika International Street Circuit, which is scheduled to host rounds of both the MotoGP World Championship and the World Superbikes Championship from next year. 

“Officials say work on the track has been unaffected by COVID-19, save for Government protocol demanding body temperature checks, PPE usage, and physical distancing,” he said.

“ITDC’s Managing Director Abdulbar M Mansoer said work on the 4.3km track was ‘proceeding normally’ and will be ‘completed on schedule by the end of 2020’.”

Mr. Deisser added while motorsports and the environment were rarely paired together positively, Mandalika intended to become a template for sustainable development.

“Designed as an ecotourism destination, the resort is minimizing the carbon footprint of its racetrack by incorporating public roads into the design and using clean energy to sustain the majority of support facilities,” he said.

“Solar power, a water desalination plant, and a promise to retain 51 percent of the area as open green space are all part of the plan to protect the region’s natural beauty and enhance local culture.”

Mandalika development project

The likes of Novotel, Pullman, Royal Tulip, and Paramount have all signed on to provide luxury hospitality and the island already boasts countless kilometers of pristine white beach, great surf, volcanic mountain treks, yoga retreats and spas, and a growing number of restaurants and bars. 

Mr. Deisser said Invest Islands had also reported a rise in interest from those looking to tap into Lombok’s property potential ahead of the resumption of international flights.

“We believe Lombok will not only become one of Southeast Asia’s next great holiday hotspots but is already a lucrative investment possibility among speculators from diverse backgrounds,” he said.

“In the past six months, Invest Islands have fielded wide-ranging interest from clients such as Arab royals, Australian surfer-types, and ex-pats living in cities such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong takes a step closer to owning their own piece of this coveted isle.

“Mandalika has always captured the imagination and hopefully over the next 12-18 months, we are going to see it become a reality.”

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