KLIA draws on local inspiration ahead of ‘Sense of Malaysia’ retail openings

By Luke Barras-hill |


The cultural showcase fits with Malaysia Airports’ SOM concept stores due to roll out at the country’s international airports next year.

A month-long campaign at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is celebrating the country’s culture and local enterprises as a prelude to a more fully-fledged retail programme.

In a collaboration between Malaysia Airports and Malaysia Design Development Centre (DDEC), HIMPUN offers domestic and international travellers with a diverse view of Malaysia via various activities, performances and products such as fashion, beauty, traditional crafts and delicacies.

HIMPUN serves as a teaser to Malaysia Airports’ ‘Sense of Malaysia’ (SOM) concept stores, which are set to open at all *international airports in Malaysia in 2020.


This feeds into the airport’s commercial reset strategy, which prioritises so-called ‘sense of place’ by aligning Malaysia’s history, culture and heritage with unique experiences for travellers.

Passengers can browse and purchase from an array of local brands such as The Chocolate Concierge, Fugeelah, Frankitas, Saarat and So. Lek. They can indulge in Tanjak making (a popular Malay headpiece for men), Songket weaving and view a fashion display from ‘home-grown’ talents such as FiziWoo, Calvin Thoo, Zubaidah Sual and Tunku Nur Zahirah Foundation.


Nazli Aziz, Senior General Manager, Commercial Services, Malaysia Airports Holdings: “[HIMPUN] fits well with our ongoing efforts of showcasing the best contemporary local brands to the eyes of the world.”

 “The HIMPUN tagline is ‘Proudly Made by Malaysians’,” said Nazli Aziz, Senior General Manager, Commercial Services, Malaysia Airports Holdings. “This fits well with our ongoing efforts of showcasing the best contemporary local brands to the eyes of the world.

“As of August (YTD), Kuala Lumpur International is already seeing a 2.9% growth in passenger movements with 41.2m passengers passing through our terminals.

“Malayasia Airports is the gateway to the country and the ASEAN region and its growth is of great importance for us not only as a transportation hub, but also as a centre of cultural exchange. The much-awaited launch of ‘Sense of Malaysia’ will allow our local talents to showcase their wares to a global audience.”


Such has been the commercial success of HIMPUN since it launched in 2018 that the programme has been extended beyond Kuala Lumpur, with the launch of HIMPUN at Langkawi International Airport earlier this year.

Abdul Rahman Mohd Saad, CEO, DDEC added: “The organisation of HIMPUN reflects and displays the quality and artisanal value of unique products by local entrepreneurs to an international crowd.”

HIMPUN is located at Stage Area Level 5, Departure Hall, KLIA Main Terminal.


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