MIDE '07- A dive show to remember

Scuba Rangers

The year 2007 is 'Visit Malaysia Year' and the events calendar is full of amazing entertainment - Malaysia is certainly a country worth visiting and one of the most underrated destinations in the region.

Patronus Towers, Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaI recently returned from one of the newly emerging dive shows in Australasia, the Malaysia International Dive Expo 2007 (MIDE '07). Against most people's expectations this event was a huge success. A great venue in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, which by the way is a fantastic city to visit, shop and to explore the unique fusion-culture. Our hotel was amazingly close to the Petronas Twin Towers or KLCC. Until 2004 this was the highest, but now 'only' 3rd highest, building in the world - what an amazing sight it is!

Underwater.com.au were the only contributors to this show from Australia this year, but the interest for Australian destinations was enormous. We expect more Aussies to realise the potential of exposing their products in South East Asia and MIDE is certainly one of the best places to do that.
Tourism Malaysia showed excellent support for this event - if we had similar government support for events like this in Australia, a revival of an annual consumer orientated dive show back here in Australia would be entirely possible.

The opening ceremony for MIDE was attended by the Deputy Minister of Tourism Malaysia YB Dato' Donald Lim who announced the continuing commitment of Tourism Malaysia to niche market development such as the sustainable diving sector. It also included a display of the Scuba Rangers which had an 8-year old diver with 21 Open Water dives been awarded with his Scuba Ranger Certificate - apparently the world's youngest diver.

Drawing competitionIn stark contrast to events in Australia the attending public included a lot of young people, women and people keen to enter the sport / hobby / lifestyle of a scuba diver. Which is exactly what is needed in the industry. Young participation was encouraged by colouring and drawing competitions, a try out pool set up, a Radio Station DJ to do the MC'ing of events etc. A lot of good thoughts went into this show.

RikshaWhile in Kuala Lumpur our very special tour guide Jasmine took mostly just Wendy Heller from DivePhotoGuide and me some of the amazing sights in day tripping distance. This included the historic township of Malaka, the Disneyland-like highland resort complex of Genting with its over 6,000 rooms and not to forget the new federal government administration centre of Malaysia Putrajaya, which is a Sci-Fi-like city for politicians and wouldn't we love Canberra to have a look at what can be done to make a capital look absolutely amazing. Malaysia looks like a country on they way to the top of the world to me.

Photo ExhibitionCongratulations to Thayalan Kennedy (Kenny) & Co who worked incredibly hard to pull off this amazing event. Loads of exibitors, loads of visitors and happy faces all around. The response from the industry and public has been extremely positive and we are looking forward to an even bigger event in 2008.
Organisers, please keep the entry for the show FREE, this allows the interested public to get a good feel for our industry without some of the heavy entry fees we have seen in Australian dive shows in the past.

Again, great to see some young blood and new ideas in an industry that we believe needs to grow up quickly not to be seen as a thing to do for old people - because everybody needs to know: It's amazing underwater...

Federal Government Administration Centre of Malaysia Putrajaya

For more photos watch this slide show of MIDE '07

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