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  • KidZania to double value of partnerships by 2012

  • PETALING JAYA: Themed Attractions and Resorts Sdn Bhd, the owner-operator of KidZania Kuala Lumpur, an educational and entertainment theme park in Mutiara Damansara, is confident of doubling the RM10 million in partnerships it has secured from Malaysian corporations by January 2012 when the theme park commences operations.

    Speaking to reporters after the signing of a partnership agreement between the company and Fitters Diversified Bhd, a fire protection services and products specialist, yesterday, Tunku Datuk Ahmad Burhanuddin, managing director and CEO of Themed Attractions, said over the next two months the company expects to announce even more business partners who will invest in KidZania.

    “Fitters is our eighth partner and … before we open we are expecting to announce even more. We have a lot of business partners that are at the stage of signing and at the final stages of negotiations. At the moment we have about RM10 million in value, and by the time we open, we will double that amount,” said Tunku Ahmad.

    The investment from Fitters will see the addition of a “fire station” at KidZania, with an initial investment of RM1.7 million for a contract period of three years. It will be equipped with firefighting equipment, materials and safety protection services and products all scaled down to a child’s size.

    “The addition of Fitters as a marketing partner creates yet another fun-filled profession for the children to enjoy. Fitters looks to educate children from an early age on the risks and dangers [of fire] … and impart meaningful values to children. For example, extinguishing a fire cultivates a spirit of teamwork, improves coordination and fosters a sense of responsibility in children,” said Tunku Ahmad.

    (From left) Wan Mohd Nor, Tunku Ahmad, Wong and Soh at the signing ceremony yesterday.

    Signing the partnership agreement on behalf of the two companies were Datuk Richard Wong, group managing director of Fitters and Tunku Ahmad. The signing was witnessed by Datuk Soh Chai Hock, chairman of the Fire Prevention Council Malaysia and director of Fitters and Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim, the director-general of the Fire and Rescue Department.

    The total cost of investment for KidZania is around RM80 million, which includes working capital for the operation of the theme park, said Tunku Ahmad.

    Besides Fitters, other corporations which have signed partnership agreements with Themed Attractions include CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, AirAsia Bhd, Honda, Media Prima Bhd, The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd and Pos Malaysia Bhd. They will provide lifelike, child-sized replicas of their business operations for KidZania visitors.

    Tunku Ahmad said the company expects it to attract over 500,000 visitors a year after its opening in January 2012.

    KidZania Kuala Lumpur is the first theme park of its kind in Malaysia, and will be a significant change to the tourism and leisure industry in the country, according to Steve Peet, the chief operating officer of Themed Attractions.

    “It will be a boost to local tourism. We are looking to employ about 400 people in KidZania Kuala Lumpur, but in terms of the knock-on effect we will see a lot more impact on the leisure industry,” said Tunku Ahmad.

    KidZania is an indoor educational and entertainment theme park for children aged four to 14, where they can learn about the world of adult occupations by role-playing different professions. KidZania will occupy approximately 80,000 sq ft and will house 59 different establishments and provide 90 different vocations for children to experience.

    This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, Ocotber 19, 2011.