July 20, 2022 | By Gerardine Donough-Tan

Phase one of the Desaru Coast integrated resort in southeastern Johor, Malaysia is now a 90-minute ferry ride from eastern Singapore with the start of direct services on July 7. This is a boon for visitors from the city-state and overseas since Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal is near Changi Airport.

The sprawling 1,600ha resort enjoys 17km of beachfront and offers a choice of four global hotel brands, a conference centre, an adventure waterpark – the biggest in the region – and Els Club Desaru Coast, comprising 45 holes of golf at ocean and valley courses.

The hotels are Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas (108 rooms, villas and residences), Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast (365 rooms), with direct access to the waterpark, One&Only Desaru Coast (44 suites and two villas) and The Westin Desaru Coast Resort (275 rooms and suites), which also runs the adjacent 1,200m2 Desaru Coast Conference Centre.

“Following the launch of ferry services, we have confirmed several bookings and expect to receive more international bookings for our fully customisable events,” said Roslina Arbak, managing director and CEO of Desaru Coast Destination Resorts.

“Our ‘MICE Reinvented’ program, where we can now include return ferry tickets, will especially benefit travellers coming from further afar, like Australia and New Zealand, who would appreciate a twin-destination MICE experience or an extended stay in the region.”

The program covers corporate events, conferences and exhibitions, land and water sports, and ‘nature & nurture’ experiences. Indoor and outdoor event venues can be repurposed to suit MICE organisers’ needs.