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Malaysia’s golden palm tree hailed as the right kind of investment

Sepang Gold Coast aims to give investors just what they require in terms of choice, guaranteed rental returns, tourism and positive impact on the environment.

'These are some of the key boxes that need to be ticked in terms of making an investment today,' says Asia property expert Martin King who is based in Hong Kong. 'There is a lot of interest in this part of the world.'

It is described at Malaysia's tropical showcase to the world and comprises 22km of sheltered sandy coastline delineated for hotels, a waterside town, an eco-tourism area and several luxury residential resorts with the Golden Palm Tree as the flagship.

The Dubai-esque palm unfurling 1.2km into the Straits of Malacca is made up of 399 villas perched on stilts over the water. These, together with 220 apartments in a Tropical Cluster Village onshore at the root of the palm, are under the management of five-star hotel brand Swiss-Belhotel, and the returns for investors are guaranteed to be significant.

'Blending Maldivian, Polynesian and contemporary Malaysian architecture, the properties are light, airy and spacious,' a spokesman said.

Other attractions include a central Clubhouse for the Golden Palm Tree community with a range of facilities including a swimming pool, gymnasiums and Spa, business centre, library and café with sweeping viewing deck.

Sepang Gold Coast, the macro-project in which it sits, offers an array of shops, restaurants, cafés, boutique hotel resorts, a marina, as well as plenty for families including a theme park, aquarium, open zoo and even a children's' hotel.

It also has an eco theme running through the masterplan with several eco-tourism areas and an Institute of Oceanography.

The developer, in conjunction with Swiss-Belhotel, is guaranteeing 8% rental income for 15 years. The powerhouse of Kuala Lumpur with a 7.2 million-strong population is within a 75 minute drive and many residents will happily swap briefcase for suitcase to enjoy breaks within the Golden Palm Tree resort.

Likewise, the award-winning Kuala Lumpur International Airport is a hassle-free half hour drive, ideal for delivering international traffic, whilst the nearby F1 circuit at Sepang will guarantee that the area is packed to the rafters on race weekend.

Add an expanding middle class underpinned by strong economic growth, 30 degree sunshine all year and a Malaysian government forecast of 24.6 million tourist arrivals by 2010 rising from 17 million in 2006 and the 8% guarantee seems far from optimistic.