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Greater Kuala Lumpur is a bourgeoning wellness hub

Malaysia’s reputation as a strong contender in the global wellness industry should come as no surprise. After all, The Global Medical Tourism Index did recognize the country as an emerging medical travel giant following the Malaysian medical tourism industry’s generation of approximately USD 362 million in revenue in 2018 alone. 

It’s a massive leap from its USD 127-million mark in 2011. In 2019, Patients Beyond Borders counted in Malaysia among the world’s top 10 medical tourism markets. As if that wasn’t remarkable enough, Malaysia’s Datuk Dr Noor Hisham received recognition from the China Global TV Network (CGTN) as one of the world’s three leading doctors for his approach to handling the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Wellness is a lifestyle in Greater Kuala Lumpur


The recognitions Malaysia has received as a growing wellness destination are not only due to its state-of-the-art healthcare. The region also provides excellent non-medical wellness options, many of which operate throughout Greater Kuala Lumpur’s (GKL) perimeters.

With this fact in mind, let’s look at the other factors that set GKL as the globally recognised destination for optimized wellness and a health-focused lifestyle.

1. Increased fitness spaces


GKL, or Klang Valley as it is colloquially known, has seen the rise of commercial gym chains due to the increased demand for personalized fitness classes.


This development has roots in the fact that many people in Malaysia have, in recent years, been increasingly aware and concerned about increasingly widespread illnesses (such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes) as well as their states of health while busy. As such, the call for fitness maintenance via fitness club memberships eventually became greater in this region.

Remarkably, the local gym industry also continuously aims to thrive, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The diehard spirit reflects the region’s collectively ongoing appreciation of fitness, which, as we know, is a vital component of wellness.

Today, having a fitness regime goes beyond your typical treadmill time. In GKL, you can expect a broad spectrum of chances for fitness mastery, from kickboxing, jujitsu, and capoeira lessons to modern classes offering cross-discipline sessions such as Pilates, Zumba, and even indoor cycling.

The evolution of the fitness spaces in GKL has been the subject of various tech mavens. We have over the years since the rise of fitness app companies such as ClassPass, and HealthifyMe leveraging the fitness boom to their advantage. Fitness studios such as Hot Yo Studio, Urban Springs and FlyProject are carving their niche with their in-house apps.

With these solidified prospects in place, it’s no wonder why the Malaysian fitness industry is set to show an expected projection of market volume valuing at USD 53 million by 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.74%.

Wellness is multifaceted and cannot be achieved through fitness alone, which is we will evaluate GKL’s quality of nourishment through food next.

2. Healthy dining scene


Kuala Lumpur’s dining scene is increasingly health-conscious while remaining delectable.

Healthy eating has been surging as a lifestyle choice in GKL in recent years due in part to the emergence of healthy, whole foods-focused restaurants within the region. Their existence is growing to meet the demands of increasingly health-conscious consumers.

Then, there’s the fact that Malaysia also operates the world’s strictest halal standards, intersecting food hygiene and nutrition for the benefit of everyone and not just practising Muslims. And with these strategic standards in place, F&B businesses in GKL undoubtedly present healthier Malaysian foods and promote health-friendly takes on international cuisines.

Expect commercial centres located in many townships throughout the region to offer a wide range of national and international foods and products fine-tuned to accommodate health-focused eating protocols such as diabetes management, vegetarianism and veganism diets.

Even the coronavirus pandemic cannot stop the acceleration of the Malaysian F&B industry’s venture into wellness territory. Euromonitor International’s recent report, ‘Health and Wellness in Malaysia,’ showed that many consumers in Malaysia are even more focused on their health and wellbeing post-pandemic and are increasingly opting for products with understood benefits.

3. Spirituality beyond religion



Kuala Lumpur’s dining scene is increasingly health-conscious while remaining delectable.

Healthy eating has been surging as a lifestyle choice in GKL in recent years due in part to the emergence of healthy, whole foods-focused restaurants within the region. Their existence is growing to meet the demands of increasingly health-conscious consumers.

Then, there’s the fact that Malaysia also operates the world’s strictest halal standards, intersecting food hygiene and nutrition for the benefit of everyone and not just practicing Muslims. And with these strategic standards in place, F&B businesses in GKL undoubtedly present healthier Malaysian foods and promote health-friendly takes on international cuisines.

Expect commercial center located in many townships throughout the region to offer a wide range of national and international foods and products fine-tuned to accommodate health-focused eating protocols such as diabetes management, vegetarianism and veganism diets.

Even the coronavirus pandemic cannot stop the acceleration of the Malaysian F&B industry’s venture into wellness territory. Euromonitor International’s recent report, ‘Health and Wellness in Malaysia,’ showed that many consumers in Malaysia are even more focused on their health and wellbeing post-pandemic and are increasingly opting for products with understood benefits.

4. Integrated green living



Perhaps the most significant contribution to GKL’s burgeoning position as a wellness hub is the normalisation of green living via increasingly available green township developments.

Thanks to establishments such as Green Building Index, the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA), and the Malaysian Green Building Confederation (MGBC), sustainable township development, maintenance and expansion practices are systemic throughout the region.

The neighbourhood designs in GKL embody a systemic green lifestyle that centres around Malaysia’s million-years-old rainforest nature. One need only observe how many modern township developments bring nature back into the city via centrally located parks, urban farmlands, intuitively incorporated pedestrian walkways and green recreational spots.

Consider, for one, the KLCC Park and the Pocket Park in the KLCC-adjacent Laman Standard Chartered at the very heart of Kuala Lumpur. Many big-scaled runs, marathons, and cycling events have taken place on their accommodating grounds, suggesting urban dwellers’ desire to continually return to health, wellness, and fitness despite busy schedules.

Then, there are also other popular destinations throughout the region to visit during your free time. Think KL Forest Eco Park; Taman Dusun Bandar in Midvalley; Kepong’s Metropolitan Park, The Central Park at Desa Park City; and Putrajaya Botanical Park that all but reveal GKL’s broad network of rainforest reserves. These parks are the perfect settings for casual cycling, jogging, and even hiking with their modern bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways.

With these natural wonders within reach, there’s no excuse not to live life green in GKL.


Take your place in GKL’s healthy space.

With the pillars of fitness, nutrition, spirituality, and integrated green living consistently addressed, met, and optimised, the Greater Kuala Lumpur (GKL) is well on its way to becoming the epicentre of wellness in ASEAN — and even the world.



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