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10 New Bali's - Lombok Mandalika

With the Indonesian government’s plan to create ’10 new Bali’s’ across the archipelago I thought it would be an ideal time to start providing some details on the different areas and the many opportunities that open up to foreigners in these beautiful regions. Bali has experienced a development that continues to deny beliefs. Growing from strength to strength each year and providing millions of tourist dollars into the region, Bali is an ideal template that President 'Jokowi' wished to replicate across the nation.

The first of these ‘expose’s’ will look at Lombok Mandalika which is located in the Central Lombok Regency and has been granted many economic concessions and will be the home to the 2021 Motor Grand Prix.


Lombok Mandalika

Lombok as many know is an island to the east of Bali and acts as and access point to many beautiful destinations in East Indonesia. Lombok could be considered as Bali in the late 1980s. It still holds its natural beauty and hasn’t yet been tarnished by the increasing cost of living that Bali has experienced in the last 10 years. As many of you know, Lombok experienced as devastating earthquake in August 2018 which resulted in more than 500 deaths across the island and destruction that hadn’t been seen since the dreadful tsunami in 2004. This is a stern reminder that any investor in Indonesia must remember that this nation sits on the ring of fire and is prone to many natural disasters including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, severe storms, tsunamis, landslides and major floods. Having contingency plans for these natural disasters is vital in any business plan and foreigners are encouraged to pursue insurances for loss of incomes, staff wage protection, building damage and stoppage of operations.

Now the bad stuff has been discussed – let’s look at Lombok Mandalika and discover why this spot is destined to become another Bali.

As Invest-Islands explains:

The Mandalika Project is a US $3 Billion eco-tourism destination to be developed on 1175Ha of land and it is the key project driving interest towards this region. Backed by the Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC – PT. Pengembangan Pariwisata Indonesia) and located in central Lombok Regency (West Nusa Tenggara Province), it is the largest project of its kind in Southeast Asia and set to be the next world-class destination. It will consist of tourism-related mixed-use products, over 10,000 luxury hotel rooms (Pullman, Paramount Resort, Club Med, Royal Tulip, Grand Mercure Hotel and more!), an international street circuit (Moto GP 2021), a yacht marina, golf courses and more.

Some of the benefits for this development are:

  • Designated as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for the agricultural and ecotourism industry

  • Benefits for investors in terms of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives

  • An Island Tourism Model benefit for surrounding areas

  • Short flight from main airport hubs – Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand & Australia

  • A major driver in increasing land values

  • Infrastructure development supported by the government as one of the priority “10 New Bali’s” initiative

  • Under 30-minute drive from Lombok International Airport

  • Mandalika will be the 5* Asian destination to visit

  • A major driver in increasing land values in Lombok

Lombok Motor GP circuit

Lombok is being considered as Bali 2.0 and the government’s plans to do it right can be seen from the start. The mistakes that have been made in Bali are being carefully thought about with this project. A focus on sustainability and eco-tourism is a highlight in this new development. Making sure the infrastructure and development is completed in a way that provides benefits to the natural surroundings and environment. One of the biggest issues in Bali is the rubbish that is created through overpopulation and tourism. The surrounding waters of Bali are filled with rubbish that ranges from plastic containers and food scraps to cigarette butts and rotting diapers. It is not a nice experience to go for a swim and have to dodge a floating diaper.

With this in mind, the project managers, local government agencies and developers are looking toward technology, renewable energy, recyclable materials and creating local regulations that will hopefully avoid the same mistakes that Bali has made over the years. As many of you do not know, Bali is running out of ground water. As tourism increases and monsoon rains are delayed, more demands for water are putting overbearing pressure on natural resources which cannot be sustained. The various demands for water in Bali is creating foreseeable problems for the developers in Lombok who are coming up with some great answers to solve this pressing issue. Water is used for many services and utilities throughout Bali and it is usually the natural ground water that is utilised. Swimming pools, hotel rooms, kitchens, gardening, cleaning, washing cars, mixing concrete, construction all use the natural ground water. Water is now having to be trucked in from Java for the popular tourists areas but the real problems exists in the villages where people are having to rely on dirty, muddy water for drinking, bathing, washing and cleaning.

Lombok cannot afford to run out of water so it is developing regulations that dictate how developments must preserve natural resources. Recyclable water drainage systems are being implemented across many new hotel developments and sea water is being used in some of the pools. Water restrictors are becoming mandatory for hotels and rubbish removal is a service that is being developed. It is great to see these initiatives being developed and thought about as no one wants Lombok to experience the problems of Bali.

As you can see, the Indonesian government are not sparing any expense when it comes to this new destination. Encouraging investment signs from some of the largest hotel players in the worlds indicated that this island is going to become a must visit destination by many domestic and international tourists.

It’s not just the opportunities on land that makes Lombok stand out as an ideal location to build a new tourist hub, but the many attractions that exist in the surrounding waters also are starting to attract many tourists.

Gili Islands

Lombok is the gateway to the Gili Islands. A group of three picturesque islands that are already rated as a must visit by many travel companies. The Gili’s are made up of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, with Gili Trawangan being the most developed and visited at time of writing. Their waters are crystal clear and provide an assortment of natural marine life that can be enjoyed by divers, snorkelers and recreational swimmers. The surf breaks at the Gili’s can be a little overcrowded during the summer months, ,however when the right swell comes through in winter, when there is no one around, you are surfing some of the most pristine breaks in the worlds.

Next time you're in Bali or Indonesia make sure you check out Lombok as there might be something that entices you to stay.

Until next time.


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