🇲🇾 Kuala Lumpur is the capital and largest city in Malaysia. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration and is among the fastest growing metropolitan regions in Southeast Asia, in both population and economic development. Kuala Lumpur is the cultural, financial, and economic centre of Malaysia. It is also home to the Parliament of Malaysia, the official residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (monarch of Malaysia) the Istana Negara. Kuala Lumpur is ranked No. 70 in the world & No. 2 in Southeast Asia for Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking and No. 9 in ASPAC & No. 2 in Southeast Asia for KPMG's Leading Technology Innovation Hub 2021. Kuala Lumpur was named as World Book Capital 2020 by UNESCO.
Economy Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding urban areas form the most industrialised and economically, the fastest growing region in Malaysia. Certain government institutions such as Bank Negara Malaysia (National Bank of Malaysia), Companies Commission of Malaysia and Securities Commission as well as most embassies and diplomatic missions are located in the city. The city remains as the economic and business hub in the country. Kuala Lumpur is a centre for finance, insurance, real estate, media and the arts of Malaysia. The infrastructure development in the surrounding areas such as the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at Sepang, the creation of the Multimedia Super Corridor and the expansion of Port Klang further reinforce the economic significance of the city. Bursa Malaysia or the Malaysia Exchange is based in the city and forms one of its core economic activities. As of 5 July 2013, the market capitalisation stood at US$505.67 billion.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Kuala Lumpur is estimated at RM73,536 million in 2008 with an average annual growth rate of 5.9 percent. By 2015, the GDP has reached RM160,388 million, representing 15.1% of the total GDP of Malaysia. The per capita GDP for Kuala Lumpur in 2013 was RM79,752 with an average annual growth rate of 5.6 percent, and RM94,722 in 2015. Average monthly household income is RM9,073 (~$2,200) as of 2016, growing at a pace of approximately 6% a year. The service sector comprising finance, insurance, real estate, business services, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels, transport, storage and communication, utilities, personal services and government services form the largest component of employment representing about 83.0 percent of the total. The remaining 17 percent comes from manufacturing and construction.
The large service sector is evident in the number of local and foreign banks and insurance companies operating in the city. Kuala Lumpur is poised to become the global Islamic Financing hub with an increasing number of financial institutions providing Islamic Financing and the strong presence of Gulf's financial institutions such as the world's largest Islamic bank, Al-Rajhi Bank and Kuwait Finance House. Apart from that, the Dow Jones & Company is keen to work with Bursa Malaysia to set up Islamic Exchange Trade Funds (ETFs), which would help raise Malaysia's profile in the Gulf. The city has a large number of foreign corporations and is also host to many multi national companies' regional offices or support centres, particularly for finance and accounting, and information technology functions. Most of the country's largest companies have their headquarters here, and as of December 2007 and excluding Petronas, there are 14 companies that are listed in Forbes 2000 based in Kuala Lumpur.
Other important economic activities in the city are education and health services. Kuala Lumpur also has advantages stemming from the high concentration of educational institutions that provide a wide-ranging of courses. Numerous public and private medical specialist centres and hospitals in the city offer general health services, and a wide range of specialist surgery and treatment that caters to locals and tourists.
There has been growing emphasis to expand the economic scope of the city into other service activities, such as research and development, which supports the rest of the economy of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur has been home for years to important research centres such as the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia, the Forest Research Institute Malaysia and the Institute of Medical Research. A new financial district for Kuala Lumpur is currently under construction which is the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), formerly known as Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD). The TRX's landmark and prominent building is The Exchange 106 tower. The 70-acre development will be situated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and will serve international finance and business opportunities. The new financial hub is a strategic enabler of the Malaysian government's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), an initiative by the Malaysian government to turn Malaysia into a high income economy nation.
Tourism Tourism plays an important role in the city's service-driven economy. Many large worldwide hotel chains have a presence in the city. One of the oldest hotels is the Hotel Majestic. Kuala Lumpur is the sixth most visited city in the world, with 8.9 million tourists per year. Tourism here is driven by the city's cultural diversity, relatively low costs, and wide gastronomic and shopping variety. MICE tourism, which mainly encompasses conventions— has expanded in recent years to become a vital component of the industry, and is expected to grow further once the Malaysian government's Economic Transformation Programme kicks in, and with the completion of a new 93,000 square meter-size MATRADE Centre in 2014. The MATRADE agency is also the owner of the Malaysia International Trade And Exhibition Centre (MITEC), the largest trade and exhibition centre of Malaysia which is a component of the larger KL Metropolis development situated in the suburb of Segambut. Another notable trend is the increased presence of budget hotels in the city.
The major tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur include the Petronas Twin Towers, the Bukit Bintang shopping district, the Kuala Lumpur Tower, Petaling Street (Chinatown), the Merdeka Square, the Kuala Lumpur railway station, the House of Parliament building, the National Palace (Istana Negara), the National Museum, the Royal Museum, Islamic Arts Museum, Central Market, KL Bird Park, Aquaria KLCC, KL River of Life, Saloma Link, the National Monument, and religious sites such as the Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque, Thean Hou Temple and Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields. Kuala Lumpur plays host to many cultural festivals such as the Thaipusam procession at the Sri Mahamariamman Temple. Every year during the Thaipusam celebration, a silver chariot carrying the statue of Lord Muruga together with his consort Valli and Teivayanni would be paraded through the city beginning at the temple all the way to Batu Caves in the neighboring Gombak, Selangor. The entertainment hub of the city is mainly centred in the Golden Triangle encompassing Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Ampang Road and Bintang Walk as well as Kuala Lumpur's largest nightlife and entertainment hotspot, TREC KL. Trendy nightclubs, bars and lounges, such as Marini's on 57, Skybar at Traders Hotel, the Beach Club, Espanda, the Hakka Republic Wine Bar & Restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe, the Luna Bar, Nuovo, Rum Jungle, No Black Tie, the Thai Club, Zion Club, Zouk KL, Club Kyō, Dragonfly KL and many others are located here.
Retail Kuala Lumpur alone has 66 shopping malls and is the retail and fashion hub in Malaysia as well as Southeast Asia. Shopping in Malaysia contributed RM7.7 billion (US$2.26 billion) or 20.8 percent of the RM31.9 billion tourism receipts in 2006. Suria KLCC is one of Malaysia's premier upscale shopping destination due to its location beneath the Petronas Twin Towers. Apart from Suria KLCC, the Bukit Bintang district has the highest concentration of shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur. It includes: Pavilion KL, Fahrenheit 88, Plaza Low Yat, Berjaya Times Square, Lot 10, Sungei Wang Plaza, Starhill Gallery, Quill City Mall and Avenue K. Changkat area of Bukit Bintang hosts various cafes, alfresco dining outlets, illegal activities such as prostitution and more, it is best known as one of the red-light districts in Kuala Lumpur. Bangsar district also has a few shopping complexes, including Bangsar Village, Bangsar Shopping Centre, KL Gateway Mall, Bangsar South, KL Eco City and Mid Valley Megamall. Apart from shopping complexes, Kuala Lumpur has designated numerous zones in the city to market locally manufactured products such as textiles, fabrics and handicrafts. The Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur, commonly known as Petaling Street, is one of them. Chinatown features many pre-independence buildings with Straits Chinese and colonial architectural influences. Since 2000, the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism introduced the mega sale event for shopping in Malaysia. The mega sale event at the time is held three times a year – in March, May and December – during which all shopping malls are encouraged to participate to boost Kuala Lumpur as a leading shopping destination in Asia which being maintained until present with new mega sales.
Kuala Lumpur is rated Alpha by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Alpha level cities are linked to major economic states and regions and into the world economy.
Kuala Lumpur is the #35 city in the world according to the Global Power City Index (GPCI) which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to their magnetism, or their comprehensive power to attract people, capital, and enterprises from around the world. It does so through measuring six key functions: Economy, Research and Development, Cultural Interaction, Liveability, Environment, and Accessibility.
Kuala Lumpur is the #48 city in the world according to the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) which evaluates and ranks the competitiveness of the major financial centres of the world according to a wide range of criteria – Human Capital, Business, Finance, Infrastructure and Reputation.
Kuala Lumpur is ranked #83 and rated C+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. C+ cities are strong international gateway cities. Kuala Lumpur has a population of over 1,768,000 people. Kuala Lumpur also forms part of the Greater Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area which has a population of over 7,200,000 people.
Twin Towns – Sister Cities Kuala Lumpur is twinned with: 🇹🇷 Ankara, Turkey; 🇲🇦 Casablanca, Morocco; 🇮🇳 Chennai, India; 🇦🇪 Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 🇮🇷 Isfahan, Iran; 🇵🇰 Karachi, Pakistan; 🏴 London, United Kingdom; 🇲🇾 Malacca City, Malaysia; 🇮🇷 Mashhad, Iran.