Macau’s new super development: Hengqin Island

Hengqin is an island west of Macau and south of Zhuhai, also known under its Portuguese name Ilha de Montanha. Parts of Hengqin have been leased out to Macau in order to support the massive plans of developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.

Since 2005 there have been conversations around a multi-billion dollar plan for the development of the island and leasing parts of it to Macau. In 2009 it was announced that the University of Macau will build a new campus on the island and in 2015 the Hengqin International Tennis Center opened its doors.

Hengquin view
Photo –

Constructions of the Ocean Resort and Chimelong Ocean Kingdom had started in 2010 and both were to open in 2013/2014. The Kingdom has been the 11th most visited theme park in the world in 2017.

The overall idea is to create a combined Las Vegas and Orlando for Asia, offering an expansive casino offering and at the same time non-gaming leisure and tourist activities. But that is not all. Hengqin will also be hosting influential and innovative areas for education, science ands culture.

Hengqin can utilize its 106.46 km2 land and territorial waters for the development of international resorts, an education zone, a business district, theme-parks and much more to invigorate the the tourism industry of Hengqin and create a two-feature holiday destination with Macau.

The city of Hengqin will be divided into ten sections with designated functions and will allow tax exemptions and adopt flexible immigration control to promote investment from Hong Kong and Macau.


FAQs – Everything you should know about Hengqjin


Where is Hengqin?

– Hengqin is west of Macau and south of Zhuhai It was previously made up of two islands, but these were recently joined.

How big is Hengqin?

– The island is the largest among the 146 islands of Zhuhai. With 106.46 km2 it’s roughly three times the size of Macau.

What is the population of Hengqin?

– 8,000 (2015), prognosed to reach 280,000 by 2020.

Will there be casinos in Hengqin?

– No. Hengqin is going to be the non-gaming counterpart to Macau.

How do I get to Hangqin?

Hangqin can be reached by sea and land (car and rail). It is connected to Macau with the Lotus Bridge and can so cater for tourists by air through Macau International Airport, which is only 3 km away.

What currency is used in Hengqin?

Hengqin will use the Macanese Patacas (MOP), but just as in Macau, Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) will be generally accepted

What’s the political situation in Hengqin?

– One country, two systems (as in Macau). On top of it will be administered by a hierarchical legislative power like other special economic zones.

What are the ten sections?

A – Central Business District
B – Port Service Zone
C – Education Zone
D – Leisure and Tourism Zone
E – Ecological Landscape Zone
F – International Residence Community
G – High-tech Research Zone
H – Culture and Creativities Zone
I – Science and Research Zone
J – Integrated Service Zone


Where can I get more information?

Article by Christin Maschmann