Is Kota Kinabalu Malaysia’s best investment bet?

One of Malaysia’s fastest-growing cities, Kota Kinabalu, also known as A-bi by locals and simply KK by most visitors, probably earned its monicker as “Nature Resort City” because of its natural attractions that are well-suited to adventure-seekers. The urbanised side of this isolated city must, however, not be discounted. Built on reclaimed land facing the South China Sea, the century-old central business district now known as “Downtown KK” gives a glimpse of the city’s industrial past and trendsetting future.


Jessleton Rez

 1. The Jesselton Residences

Set to be completed in August 2015, the luxurious, 333-unit Jesselton Residences, covering three blocks on Jesselton Point and featuring duplex penthouses and a commercial complex, is named after the former name of Kota Kinabalu, Jesselton town, which, in turn, got its English name from British North Borneo Company executive Sir Charles Jessel, whose firm helped industrialise the district in the late 1800s. Over a hundred years later, the 28-storey Jesselton Residences will remind the world why Sabah’s capital city, rich in nature and culture, remains to be one of the most popular tourist and investment destinations on Borneo Island. The developer, Palikota Sdn Bhd, announced that more than half of the units had already been sold and that the project will also become the tallest tower in the city.

Gaya Street-LQ

2. Gaya Street

Get a taste of contemporary local culture at the Jalan Gaya weekend fair which happens every Sunday from 6:00 1:00 p.m.. The stalls, frequented by local residents and foreigners alike, offer delicious food, arts and crafts, various merchandise and even antiques. The Sunday market has been popular for many years and the city government closes street traffic to make way for stalls and shoppers.

Sabah Museum

3. Sabah State Museum

Sabah Museum, which showcases a famous George Cathart Woolley collection of photographs, was originally located along Jalan Gaya when it was founded in 1965 by the Sabah Society, but in 1984 it transferred a few blocks away to a 17-hectare complex that also houses an art gallery, a zoo, a botanical garden and a heritage village. It preserves the natural, archeological and historical past of this East Malaysian state., and will celebrate its golden anniversary in July 2015.

Sutera Harbour Resort-Berth View

4. Sutera Harbour

Sutera Harbour is situated on a 155-hectare prime land in northern Kota Kinabalu facing the sea and offering five-star amenities including the 965-unit The Magellan Sutera Resort, the 500-room Pacific Sutera Hotel, and the world-class Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf and Country Club designed by renowned Australian golfer and entrepreneur Graham Marsh. It also boasts of the Mandara Spa, 15 international restaurants and bars, and a host of other recreational facilities.

Flames Restaurant

5. Le Méridien’s Flames Steak Restaurant

Kota Kinabalu’s sole international steak restaurant can be found at the sophisticated-yet-stylishly casual Flames, located at the upper deck lobby of Le Méridien on Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens. With a seating capacity of less than 30 customers, this intimate place is open for lunch from 12:00 to 2:30 p.m. and again for dinner from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m.. Aside from its prime beef selection, the restaurant offers other non-vegetarian dishes for variety.

The Peak Soho-Interior

 6. The Peak Soho

Opening in the second quarter of 2014, The Peak Soho Designer Suites is one of the latest additions to Kota Kinabalu’s majestic skyline. A short ride from downtown, the stylish mixed-use residence and office space development on Signal Hill offers contemporary living surrounded by greenery. It is part of the Signal Hill Collection of the SBC Corporation, which aims to replicate the success of The Peak in Hong Kong. The exclusive neighbourhood is a small city in itself, with similar upscale developments such as The Peak Condo, The Peak Vista, The Peak Suites and Signal Hill Park just a short distance away from each other. Soon, the two-tower The Peak Soho will also be home to Kota Kinabalu’s first-ever Sky Lounge, a place where residents and visitors will certainly enjoy the cool breeze from Likas Bay while reflecting on the exciting future that awaits downtown Kota Kinabalu.