Plans for KidZania to go regionalBy June Ramlee
Rakan Riang Sdn Bhd, the franchise holder of KidZania in Malaysia, is looking at expanding the brand to different states and in the region, even before it opens its maiden store at Mutiara Damansara by year-end.
Themed Attractions and Resorts Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Tunku Datuk Ahmad Burhanuddin said potential new tie-ups will be announced in the next few months.
"We are looking at expanding the brand in the region. I cannot say where yet, but rest assured there will be more announcements to come before we open our maiden store," Tunku Ahmad said at a press conference after the signing ceremony of the sponsorship for KidZania in Kuala Lumpur.
KidZania is an educational theme park originated from Mexico. Besides Malaysia, the brand is also present in Indonesia, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Japan and South Korea.
KidZania in Malaysia is a 80:20 joint venture between Themed Attractions and Boustead Curve Sdn Bhd.
The companies had signed a licensing agreement to develop the brand here through Rakan Riang, the joint-venture company.
KidZania is designed for children aged 3 to 14, allowing them to play role as a fireman, actress, doctor and dentist, among others. Only adult-accompanying children are allowed to enter KidZania.
There are plans to include a spa or a reading corner where parents or chaperons can unwind while waiting for the children.
The entrance fee has been set at RM50 per individual and the company plans to come up with various packages at prices that suit families and schools.
The signing ceremony saw six companies providing multiple sponsorships amounting to RM8 million to the maiden store.
They included AirAsia Bhd, CIMB Group, Honda Malaysia, Media Prima Bhd, The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) and Pos Malaysia Bhd.
"At KidZania, each child can choose to become a CIMB customer, Honda F1 driver, AirAsia pilot or cabin crew, NST reporter, Media Prima TV presenter or work for Pos Laju.
"Whatever the profession they choose, they will get paid, all in Kidzos, KidZania's official currency which can be spent on purchases within KidZania," Tunku Ahmad said.
There is also a CIMB branch in KidZania where customers can open a bank account and obtain an ATM card to enable them to withdraw their Kidzos.
KidZania is expected to occupy 80,000 sq ft of space in a building that is being built across the street for the Curve.