SINGAPORE - Malaysia's Themed Attractions and Resorts - owner of Legoland and Sanrio Hello Kitty Town in the country - is launching its first overseas theme park, KidZania Singapore, to tap rising travel demand in the region.
It has partnered Maybank, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, Yakult, Canon and The Soup Spoon to set up five establishments in KidZania - an indoor theme park where children can pretend to be surgeons, pilots, runway models, journalists, chefs, firemen and many other professions.
"This is our first overseas venture. It will probably be the only one for some time," managing director Tunku Ahmad Burhanuddin told BT in an interview. The company, a subsidiary of Malaysia's state investment company Khazanah Nasional, owns the KidZania franchise in Kuala Lumpur.
Expanding into Singapore is a "logical choice" given the cooperation between the two countries in Iskandar Malaysia, as well as Singapore's central location in ASEAN, making it a tourism hub.
Unlike other theme parks, KidZania will not have any rides. Instead, it will partner companies in different industries to create miniature cities where children "work" in some 60 "pretend" businesses, from hospitals to fire stations and bottling plants to courier services. The $90 million Singapore theme park franchise will span 7,600 square metres at Palawan Beach on Sentosa.
Two-thirds of the visitors are expected to be Singaporeans, one-third foreigners.