Bandar Utama is a residential town in Selangor, Malaysia, with a population of 59,000. It is the home of the “1 Utama” Shopping Centre, a large and modern commercial outlet, which has brought wealth and tourism to the area. The suburb is a 30-minute drive from the centre of Kuala Lumpur.
1 Utama Shopping Mall, the largest in Malaysia, celebrates an “all in one” attitude and promotes itself as more than a shopping centre, but an entire complex of commercialised entertainment. It covers a huge space, with over 650 stores, an entertainment zone, an extensive dining section and even an outdoor promenade equipped with a scuba diving centre. One especially unique feature is the Rainforest, a central area with koi ponds and a suspension bridge surrounded by cafes and restaurants. Above it, visitors can find the largest rooftop garden in Southeast Asia, which hosts 500 species of exotic plants and a buzzing nightlife scene in the evenings. Aside from the shopping centre, Bandar Utama is host to a five-star hotel, a golf and sports club with a gym, ballroom and Chinese restaurant, and several places of worship.
By hosting 1 Utama Shopping Mall, the area of Bandar Utama is well connected to the rest of Malaysia, with regular bus services travelling to Kuala Lumpur daily to transport shoppers. The Aeroline is a luxury transport that travels between Singapore and central hubs of Malaysia, including 1 Utama Shopping Centre.
The development of Bandar Utama occurred rapidly and suddenly in the 1990s, when the company of See Hoy Chan Holdings modernised the area by opening a large broadcast centre. Along with the construction of 1 Utama Shopping Centre, the district became a popular residential area. The population has risen dramatically from a mere 100 people in 1991 to tens of thousands now occupying the area.