Kota Kinabalu city is located on the north west coast of Sabah and is formerly known as Jesselton. Sabah is one of the 13 states of Malaysia and shares the Island of Borneo with Sarawak, Brunei and Indonesia’s Kalimantan.

Kota Kinabalu, a bustling and friendly city of a wide collage of races and religions, has a population of about 500,000 people in its metropolitan area with the official language being the Malay language while English and Mandarin are widely spoken.

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Citizens of Commonwealth countries, Ireland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands do not need a visa to enter Malaysia. Countries such as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Tunisia and USA do not need visas if the visit does not exceed 3 months. Citizens from Israel are not permitted to visit Malaysia while citizens of communist countries are only granted visas of between 7 and 14 days.

The Ringgit is the Malaysian currency with 1 Ringgit equaling 100 Sen. There are many local and international banks and foreign exchanges located throughout Sabah’s urban centres. Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, resorts, restaurants, departmental stores and shops. However, cash is required in local sundry shops and markets.

There is a 10% service charge and 5% government on goods and services. Tipping is not generally practised in Malaysia.

Banks and Government offices: Banks open from 9.30am to 3.00pm on Mondays through Fridays and are closed on
Saturdays and Sundays. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are available 24 hours.

Offices: Most government offices are open from 8.00am to 5.00pm and are closed every
Saturday and Sunday. Commercial offices and business are open as early as 8.00am on
Mondays through Fridays, 8.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

Shops & Shopping centres: Individual shops’ opening hours vary but usually begins between 9.00am and 10.00am
on Mondays through Saturdays and are opened 10.00am to 6.00pm on Sundays.

Lightweight clothing is ideal while shirts and ties make for appropriate office wear.

Sabah has an equatorial climate with rainfall common throughout the year. Temperatures rarely rise above 32°C (90°F) except on exceptionally hot days, and along the coastal areas rarely drop below 20°C (68°F) at night. In the interior and at
higher altitudes it can get quite cold at night. Relative humidity is usually 85-95 per cent.