Malaysia’s first planned city, Shah Alam is more than the epitome of Malay ideals. A speedy network of highways lead to hidden cultural gems in unassuming ethnic enclaves.
Named after Sultan Alam Shah, the state capital of Selangor is Malaysia’s first planned city spanning 293km2. Located within the districts of Petaling and a portion of Klang, housing areas occupy most of the city (55.2 km2) while commercial centres dot 56 different ‘Seksyens’ (Malay for sections). Generally divided into the north, central and south, tree lined highways connect the business metropolis seamlessly to other major cities in the Klang Valley, plus the Kuala Lumpur International airport.
Envisioned by the first mayor Dato’ Haji Abu Sujak Haji Mahmuda as a modern city with a unique identity, Bandaraya Melayu (“Malay City”), Shah Alam aims to showcase achievements of Malays across all sectors. In line with this identity, Shah Alam was declared the first city in the world with no entertainment outlets as a means of vice prevention.
The result? Commercial and residential districts flourish in abundant greenery, government administrative buildings thrive at the heart of the city, and fashionable malls have come to stay. Also a media hub and university town, Shah Alam is abuzz with ideas, innovation and energy. Much of which can be felt at the Shah Alam Stadium, a multi-purpose football stadium equipped with athletic facilities, the home of world-class sporting events. Designed by renowned Malaysian architect, Hijaz Kasturi, it also features the world’s longest free-standing arc.
Like all the best cities, Shah Alam is gateway to surprising possibilities.
Yet, the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Mosque is undoubtedly the city’s pride. Measuring 51.2m (167 ft), the Blue Mosque is the largest religious dome in the world. Given the right room, guests of Concorde Hotel Shah Alam enjoy spectacular views of Selangor’s state mosque. The four minarets, each reaching 142.3m (460 ft), overlook the Garden of Islamic Arts, a park inspired by the Quranic Garden of Paradise. Inside this 14 hectare spiritual sanctuary, nine galleries exhibit a rich array of Islamic arts.
Like all the best cities, Shah Alam is gateway to surprising possibilities. Lunch in luxuriant paddy fields. A walk on a mirror in the sea. A wishing tree by the beach. Fragrant flavours of a vanishing trade. Lessons with the state’s master potter. Infinite new experiences are just an hour’s drive by car. All you need? 36 hours in Shah Alam
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