Mandalika MotoGP: Mandalika circuit planning is known to have started since the era of President Soeharto

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The Development of Mandalika Special Economic Zone has been planned since the Soeharto era in late 1980s, but has repeatedly stalled and replaced the developers

Kuta Beach Lombok

Good news comes for lovers of MotoGP. Indonesia is confirmed to be one of the hosts of the MotoGP title starting in 2021.

The news was immediately greeted positively by netizen. In fact, Max Biaggi — the 250cc GP world champion four times in a row — also commented on the MotoGP event in Indonesia.

In the agreement between Dorna and the Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), Indonesia got a contract to hold MotoGP for three seasons. Later, MotoGP racing will be held at Mandalika Circuit, Lombok.

At present, the circuit is still under construction. The work on the circuit was carried out by ITDC — BUMN integrated tourism destination developers — with French contractors, Vinci Construction Grands Projects (VCGP).

The discourse of holding a MotoGP in Indonesia has actually emerged in recent years. Previously, Palembang (capital city of South Sumatera province) had emerged as a candidate for the MotoGP host in Indonesia.

Sentul Circuit, Bogor (West Java) also did not miss entering as a candidate to hold a MotoGP in Indonesia. Moreover, the circuit had previously held a MotoGP championship in 1997, when Valentino Rossi also played there.

In addition to Sentul and Palembang, property company MNC Land has also expressed interest in building a MotoGP circuit in the Lido area (near Bogor, West Java), by cooperating with Donald Trump’s company. However, the choice to hold a MotoGP in Indonesia finally fell in Mandalika, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

Rather than the previous three places, Mandalika has advantages. On the Mandalika circuit, there is a bonus: Mandalika is in an important tourist area of ​​the archipelago. The government is currently focusing on developing the tourism sector. Scandal is one of ten places that the government is working on as a leading tourist destination.

Mandalika area is a semi-arid lowland with a flat and elongated beach. Mandalika also has white sand beaches with ocean waves that are suitable for surfing. The sandy beach vegetation is relatively small. Mangrove patches were found in several muddy areas to protect the coast from erosion.

No wonder many say that Mandalika can be ‘The New Bali’. Moreover, the government has also spent a lot of money on the development of Mandalika. One of them is a capital of Rp250 billion for basic infrastructure.

Mandalika is actually an old project. It was designed in the Soeharto era, when Joop Ave was Director General of Tourism. In 1989, the government appointed the BUMN Lombok Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) as the project implementer. The Mandalika SEZ development project covers an area of ​​1,175 hectares on the south coast of Lombok Island with a 9 kilometer coastline in Pujut District, Central Lombok Regency.

In its journey, LTDC did not do much meaningful development. He was entangled in funding problems. As a result, in 1998, LTDC was declared bankrupt. The LTDC assets were then taken by the PT Asset Management Company (PPA).

Under the leadership of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), the development of Mandalika continues again. In 2011, SBY inaugurated the Mandalika tourism area project worth Rp27 trillion with a 10-year development period.

In fact, national investors at that time also wanted to participate in Mandalika. MNC Group through PT Global Land Development for example. They plan to build integrated parks, Formula 1 circuits, and so on.

Gobel Group also intends to build environmentally friendly facilities such as water treatment, waste water management and solar systems. In fact, Gobel also intends to build a premium resort there.

Other national investors came from Rajawali Group through PT Canvas Development. Antara reported, they plan to build hotels and villas, including premium resorts at Tanjung Ann.

Unfortunately, the inauguration in October 2011 was not left behind. Mandalika still faces a number of obstacles, including those related to land acquisition. However, SBY is developing tourism in Mandalika.

In fact, SBY in 2014 issued Government Regulation No. 52/2014 concerning Mandalika Special Economic Zones. He hopes that with this policy, the development of Mandalika will continue.

In 2015, the construction of Mandalika was on the shoulders of Joko Widodo. This time, the government moved quickly. The issue of land acquisition was immediately anticipated by the president through a presidential instruction.

The development phase of the Mandalika SEZ continues, marked by the inauguration of the region by the president. In the inauguration, the president asked Mandalika managers to make clear rules of the game and contracts with investors.

“If investors leave their land without development activities within 6 months, then the permit must be revoked. Because many are interested in investing in the Mandalika SEZ, “Jokowi said in October 2017.

In the Mandalika, at least there has been an investment flow of Rp. 13 trillion. Starred hotels have also started to be built such as Pullman Hotels, Club Med Hotels, Royal Tulip Hotels, X2 Hotels, and Paramount Hotels.

Not to forget, basic infrastructure has also begun to be built. Among them are the 200 L/s clean water treatment plant of Batu Jai Praya in Central Lombok, Lombok Airport, and 150 kV Kuta Substation.

The government also prepares tax incentives for investors, starting from the provision of tax holidays, tax allowances, exemption from import duties and so forth. In fact, the government also facilitates property ownership for foreigners in the Mandalika SEZ.

Making Mandalika as a new Bali is indeed not easy. However, the running process seems to be still on track. The presence of the MotoGP event can add to the supporting factors of Mandalika as a leading tourist destination.