Dr Allan Zeman: from ladies’ lingerie to Lan Kwai Fong

The ‘godfather of Lan Kwai Fong’, celebrated entrepreneur and luxury property developer, Zeman is rarely short of appellations

Best known as the godfather of Lan Kwai Fong, one of Hong Kong’s most renowned nightlife districts, Allan Zeman originally hails from Germany but grew up in Montreal, Canada and relocated to Hong Kong at the age of 19.

After opening his first restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong in the mid-80s, he went on to to buy an entire block in the area for HKD32 million and today owns a reported 70 percent of the properties there. In the early 2000s, Zeman was appointed chairman of the then ailing Ocean Park and successfully managed to turn the fortunes of the theme park around, even in the face of stiff competition from the newly opened Hong Kong DisneyLand. Elsewhere in the region, his LKF Group continues to expand in Mainland China, while the latest phase of his ever-expanding Phuket-based five-star Andara Resort and Villas is well underway.

We recently caught up with him to discuss the state of Hong Kong’s market a year on from the Occupy movement, why Thailand remains one of the region’s most desirable destinations and what he would’ve done differently if he were to get another shot at developing Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong’s most renowned nightlife district.

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